Two new manufacturing institutes will be located in Illinois and Michigan, according to The Associated Press. The new facilities will help develop new forms of digital manufacturing.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was accompanied by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said at a press conference the new facility will help improve the manufacturing industry.
"This is a whole new way of manufacturing," Emanuel said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "You have to take an idea and get it to market with speed. That is why this research capacity, from a design standpoint, is so essential to putting Chicago and Illinois at the cutting edge."
Chicago outperforms competition
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was also in the running for the new facility, but the Department of Defense decided to pick Chicago because it's funding was secured thanks to taxpayers, according to the Sun-Times. In order to qualify to be in the running for the manufacturing installation, competitors had to match the DoD's contribution of $70 million. Chicago secured more than the required bid as it acquired $250 million in funds from state taxpayers and private sources. Sen. Durbin said the city went above and beyond because it was eager to be a part of this program.
"We had to overperform to make sure it was not only a good grab, but the best," Durbin said at a press conference, according to the Chicago Tribune. "So that the president and the White House and everybody else can look at it with a straight face and say, 'Of course it's Illinois."
The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, will be managed by UI Labs and be built on Goose Island, which is the only island located on the Chicago River. There is no set date for when the institute will open, according to the AP.
Second lab taking up residence in Michigan
The other lab will be located in Canton, Mich., and will focus on developing lightweight and modern metals. The AP reported Michigan's long standing history as a hub for car manufacturers was one of the reasons why the state was picked as the second location.
Emanuel went on to say the decision to choose the Midwest as homes to new manufacturing facilities is important.
"This solidifies Chicago's place as the epicenter of the digital manufacturing revolution that will create thousands of jobs here and make our city the place where the greatest 21st-century innovations are born," Emanuel said, according to the AP. "This cutting-edge digital lab will ensure that the City of Big Shoulders remains the City of Big Discoveries for years to come."
Businesses who are looking for experienced workers to help them with meeting the demands of the manufacturing industry can look to manufacturing recruiters to help them in their search.