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Press Releases

Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Wins Inaugural COSMA Leadership Award

San Diego, California For their work to attract and maintain the manufacturing workforce, the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association won the 2022 Leadership Award from the Conference of State Manufacturers Associations. COSMA members also serve as the NAM’s official state partners and drive manufacturers’ priorities on state issues, mobilize local communities and help move federal policy from the ground up in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

“I am so pleased to present the inaugural COSMA Leadership Award to the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association,” said Kris Johnson, president of the Association of Washington Business and chair of COSMA. “These are challenging times, but manufacturers in America have demonstrated once again, as they have throughout our nation’s history, that they are equal to the challenge. All manufacturers should be proud of the role they have played in navigating the pandemic, and the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association should be especially proud of the innovative ways it has helped its members address the workforce challenges we have all faced. Congratulations to my friend Mark Denzler and his talented team.”

The association’s recent achievements included its $7 million Manufacturing Jobs Campaign aimed at attracting students, veterans, communities of color, women, ex-offenders and other individuals to the manufacturing sector. They were also asked by Governor JB Pritzker to co-chair the state’s Equipment Task Force during the pandemic and appointed by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to lead the B2B Recovery Group that included manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, construction and utilities companies in the state.

“Mark is more than an inspirational colleague and true friend. He is an amazing representative for Illinois’ manufacturing workers on the national stage,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “At a time when there are more than 800,000 open jobs in our industry, we need the efforts of groups like the IMA to help us find that next generation of talent and strengthen manufacturing competitiveness so that we can continue to lead our economy and our country toward a better future.”

In this inaugural year, the COSMA Leadership Award drew many extraordinary applications, each demonstrating how manufacturing associations across the country are rising to meet workforce and supply chain challenges in new and innovative ways.


The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.77 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit

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