Today I’m pleased to welcome Illinois manufactures to the inaugural edition of the IL Manufacturing Report. This digital publication is about you: the companies and people reimagining one America’s most important industrial outposts.

For us, Illinois is now part of a regional network of Manufacturing Reports that includes Arizona, California, Colorado, Texas, and Utah. Which means Illinois is our first publishing foray into America’s historic industrial heartland.

It’s exciting — having everything to do with the stories we’re about to tell.

We’re manufacturing geeks — we’ve written in-depth features on more than 2,000 companies across the West since 2013. We predicted a domestic manufacturing comeback in 2013, and since then have followed America’s manufacturing revival through the stories of family-owned companies; of entrepreneurs reinventing manufacturing industries in aerospace, bioscience, craft food, brewing, and distilling; of companies moving production back onshore, because today, “Made in America” matters more than ever.

We’re fascinated by the prospect of showcasing your background and character, but more, to publicize your collective attributes.

The fact is that economic developers, elected officials, and other business leaders have again embraced manufacturing — and are working harder than ever to attract it. Today, we’re helping states communicate the virtues of manufacturing by shining a light on their most valuable asset — you.

In every edition of the IL Manufacturing Report, we’ll profile several Illinois companies across a mix of industries — always focusing first on small and middle-market manufacturers (SMMs). Why? We believe they’re the backbone of U.S. manufacturing.

In each story, we ask company leaders about challenges, opportunities and needs shaping their business trajectory. It’s our editorial “secret sauce.” It’s why you’ll continue reading: Regardless of the industry you’re in or products you make, as a SMM, you share the same workforce challenge; innovative products or processes are critical to your future; and you’re working out a digital roadmap for your company.

You’re also working to optimize, grow, or build out a more capable supply chain. Or, you’re a supplier for an OEM or brand that is. Today we’re part of Sustainment — a national supply-chain portal and software platform that will help you find buyers or manage your supplier network.

We’re here to help, to work with Illinois’ world-class manufacturing ecosystem and add value by reporting on you and connecting your company with resources and new business partners.

Reach out to me with questions — or to have your company featured. There are NEVER any fees to write about your company.

We’ll publish every two weeks, so buckle up. We’re excited to be part of your journey.

Bart Taylor is publisher of CompanyWeek. Reach him at btaylor@companyweek.com.

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