Getting lawmakers to understand the importance of reforms to boost the manufacturing sector is about taking a look at surrounding states.
Mark Denzler of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association says it’s been difficult getting reforms to attract manufacturers to the Land of Lincoln but he’s working to nudge lawmakers to look at around.
“We have the seventh highest cost of workers compensation in the country. While we’ve lost 15,000 jobs in Illinois, states like Michigan have gained 150,000 in the last couple of years; Indiana is getting 90,000 jobs. We continue to struggle.”
IMA: Local economies hit by manufacturing losses
When the state’s manufacturing sector takes a hit, local economies take a hit.
The December Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN, report says seven businesses, mostly manufacturers, are closing up shop affecting more than 580 employees. Compared to the more than 14,000 manufacturing jobs Illinois lost in the past year, it’s a small number.
But Denzler says it has big impacts, especially in a town like Harvey where LB Steel is closing down.
“A city like Harvey to lose 200 jobs — those are taxpayers that live in the city that own homes, that pay taxes, that go shopping there, so it makes it more difficult for the supplier or manufacturing companies or the retail stores and restaurants who lose customers.”
Denzler says it’s frustrating to see neighboring states creating tens of thousands of jobs while Illinois is struggling.
Illinois News Network