Governor recounts investment and business growth mission to Europe
CHICAGO (Apr. 26, 2018) – Gov. Bruce Rauner, addressing the media to recap his 10-day investment and business growth mission to Germany and Poland, said today that he and his delegation of Illinois business leaders met with dozens of companies to discuss foreign direct investment in Illinois.
“We talked about some really exciting opportunities that are likely to result in substantial investments in our state in the coming months,” Rauner said. “Our meetings took place at critical stages in the decision process for some of these companies and we made Illinois’ case.”
Rauner revealed details of his mission at the headquarters of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA). Near the end of his trip, he made the official announcement that MPEA will host Germany’s world-renowned manufacturing trade show brand at McCormick Place co-located with the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS).
Combined, Germany’s HANNOVER MESSE and our IMTS will attract more than 125,000 visitors and produce hundreds of millions in economic impact for Illinois, and the City of Chicago and the Chicagoland area.
“This fall we are excited to welcome HANNOVER MESSE to McCormick Square for their first show in the United States,” said Lori T. Healey, CEO, Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA). “I believe there will be in excess of 125,000 people here this year taking up every square inch of rentable space on this campus for this huge show. That’s a lot of people eating in restaurants, staying in hotels, and providing an economic boost for Chicago and the surrounding area.”
“IMTS has further enhanced its attractiveness as a ‘must attend’ international manufacturing technology destination by partnering with HANNOVER MESSE,” says Michelle Edmonson, Senior Director – Exhibitions Operations & Marketing. “Co-locating HANNOVER MESSE USA with IMTS 2018 increases the show’s emphasis on automation, robotics and Industry 4.0, with approximately 550 additional exhibitors occupying 130,000 sq. ft. of floor space.”
“Growth-minded visitors will attend IMTS 2018 looking for solutions that remove production bottlenecks,” says Peter R. Eelman, Vice President – Exhibitions & Business Development at AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology, which produces IMTS. “For many manufacturers, simply doing more of the same thing in a larger space or adding more people isn’t a viable option. Growth requires change, and visitors view IMTS as a change agent. They come to the show knowing that they can find technologies that not just shave minutes off production cycles, but that can positively disrupt their manufacturing approach.”
According to the governor, the mission provided an opportunity to meet with companies that already have Illinois in their sights for investment.
“This trade mission solidified the fact that we have a tremendous opportunity to revitalize our middle class through bringing manufacturing jobs back to Illinois. To do this, however, we need to ensure a strong workforce is in place and is prepared to fill these positions with the right skillsets. At the end of the day, the positives Illinois has to offer far outweigh the negatives,” said Illinois Manufacturers Association President and CEO Greg Baise. “This mission highlighted the employer demand—and incredible opportunity—to develop a direct pipeline of educated students and connect them to a workforce eager to hire them.”
The governor noted that the mission had a marketing aspect, as well. Illinois is the world’s 18th largest economy and its assets are well known to the 200+ German and Polish companies that employ more than 38,000 Illinoisans. But there are thousands more that don’t know the Illinois story.
Intersect Illinois CEO Mark Peterson, whose organization financed most of the trip, was also encouraged by the results. “This is only the beginning of the focused efforts that Intersect Illinois will lead in the coming years. Helping the State of Illinois to recruit new companies from around the world and attract foreign direct investment is exactly what Intersect was created for. We look forward to announcing new investment in the coming months as a direct result of this trade mission.”
“This is an exciting time for DuPage County and the region as a whole. Working closely with the Governor’s Office, the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity and Intersect Illinois, DuPage County has expanded its global footprint with international businesses seeking to relocate, or expand operations here,” said John Carpenter, President and CEO of Choose Dupage.
Consuls General and U.S. Ambassadors arranged for hundreds of prospective investors to hear the Illinois story.
“Over the course of this mission we talked to companies throughout Poland and Germany looking to build and grow relationships with Illinois,” said DCEO Director Sean McCarthy. “By making these connections and selling Illinois assets abroad we can bring a lot of foreign direct investment to Illinois.”
“We met with business and education leaders in two of Europe’s most compelling economies,” Rauner said. “Germany is a mainstay in world commerce and is a $3.4 billion customer for Illinois businesses. Poland is a rising economic star that has parlayed fiscal discipline into more than 25 consecutive years of economic growth. We look forward to seeing where these friendships lead.”