In preparation for our recent Federal Manufacturing Community Designation, MCEDC working with McHenry County staff, developed a map identifying the various manufacturing clusters, i.e. Plastics, Metal, Machine Shops, Medical Equipment, etc. Our Manufacturing sector is responsible for 23% of our GRP or $2.2 Billion and employs 13% of our workforce or 16, 269. It is the largest of our 20 economic sectors in McHenry County.

Click this link or the map below to view a full-size pdf


MCEDC celebrated Manufacturing Day on October 3rd with a Manufacturing Expo, Car Show, Countywide Billboards, facility tours and even a tinker skills opportunity for attendees.

While the weather was quite cold...even had snowflakes, almost 100 brave souls came to our Expo which we held at the former Oak Industries facility on Main & Crystal Lake Avenue in Crystal Lake.

Thanks to our manufacturers for setting up their displays and providing information on the products they make and the way they make them.

A big hit was the Crystal Lake Robotics teams who showed off their robots and did a great job of explaining their program.  Look for them at our Annual Dinner on October 28th!



Photos by Robin F. Pendergrast Photography, Inc.  rfpphoto

MCEDC has been working with our economic development partners as well as county officials from the seven counties in Northeastern Illinois and the City of Chicago over the past several months to create Metro Chicago Exports (MCE). This unprecedented collaboration is designed to increase exports from small and midsized enterprises and to support regional job growth. MCE aims to catalyze a shift in economic development priorities and practices resulting in more globally connected metropolitan areas and more sustainable economic growth.

The reason for this effort is that growth has accelerated outside the Unites States and it is felt that continued economic growth and vitality lies in exporting. The Chicago region is the nation’s 4th largest exporter at $65 billion according to data from Brooking Metropolitan Policy Program report, but ranks only 28th in exports as a share of GRP. The report further identified that only 6% of the regional small and mid size enterprises actually export.


Photos by Robin F. Pendergrast Photography, Inc.  rfpphoto

This pilot program will assist manufacturers and business service companies to reach international markets and will focus on 3 initial strategies:

  1. Build the pipeline of export ready firms
  2. Strengthen the export ecosystem and
  3. Reduce the initial business costs to reach new markets.

Metro Chicago Exports will provide guidance to public services specifically tailored to their export opportunities and needs; Provide connections to private sector partners based on industry and market opportunities needs reducing the informational barriers to exporting; Provide access to market analyses, business plan development and referrals to help realize export opportunities; engage export mentors to facilitate best practice exchange and secure resources to lessen the burden of starting the exporting process.

Your MCEDC is proud to be a part of this exciting effort.


Over 100 business executives attended the McHenry County EDC Annual Legislative Breakfast. State Senator Pam Althoff, District 32, and State Representative Mike Tryon, District 66, Provided highlights on the recent legislative session as well as their committees, legislation they have introduced and their primary concerns.

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Setting for the 2014 Annual Legislative Breakfast   MCEDC President Pam Cumpata
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Representative Mike Tryon   State Senator Pam Althoff


MCEDC Legislative Breakfast 2014

MCEDC Legislative Breakfast 2014 from McHenry County EDC on Vimeo.


Video and Photos by Robin F. Pendergrast Photography, Inc.  rfpphoto

RINGWOOD, IL  -  Rapid Waterjet Design (RWD) continues to grow.  Scott Suhr, Owner and President, is pleased to announce the new expansion to a larger fabrication facility.  Located at 5415 Business Parkway, Ringwood, Illinois, the new facility will offer 15,000 square feet of fabrication and office space.  This move allows RWD to execute its business plan to acquire additional fabrication equipment (including a 5-Axis CNC machining center)  to meet the evolving needs of its growing customer base. 

From prototype to production, Rapid Waterjet Design can provide multiple manufacturing options, and recommend the most efficient way to produce tight tolerance components and products based upon customer goals and objectives.  RWD offers a unique combination of technology and manufacturing process experience that provides the capability to maintain unparalleled quality while delivering the advantages of speed and savings.

RWD's in-house machining equipment and capabilities include:

Waterjets Waterjets 
Two Omax Waterjet machines that can cut almost any material from Neoprene to Titanium, in thickness from .005 shim to 9”. (Ability to cut with garnet and 
water only) 
Wire EDM fabricating allows RWD to hold extremely tight tolerances up to 2/10”
Assorted Grinding Assorted Grinding 
We offer tight tolerance finishes with our wet surface grinder
Sand/Bead Blaster & Vibratory Finishing Sand/Bead Blaster & Vibratory Finishing
Offer most type of finishes on parts that we fabricate

CLICK HERE to view more about the comprehensive machining services available at Rapid Waterjet Design

Contact: Bill Kirkelie 815-728-1929 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Invitation: Hong Kong Trade Development Council North American Mission 


You are encouraged to attend:


Chinese Mainland-Hong Kong Joint Investment & Partnership Mission to North America

Date: Tuesday, September 16, 2014Location: Swissotel Chicago

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council is jointly organizing the first investment and partnership mission with the Ministry of Commerce of China to North America in September. The mission aims to enhance the understanding of both the Mainland Enterprises and Hong Kong companies towards the latest development of manufacturing, automation and environmental technologies in North America.


This mission will feature:

  • Business Matching
  • Networking Events
  • Company Visits

Please consider attending as the mission stops in Chicago, IL on September 16, 2014. You do not want to miss the opportunity to meet with and potentially form partnerships with quality Chinese mainland enterprises from Jiangsu, Shandong and Zhejiang provinces. This is a mutually beneficial opportunity.

For more information and to register, click here.


*Interested individuals are encouraged to fill out and submit the linked application form as soon as possible; selected project owners will be matched with Chinese companies for one-on-one sessions.



The primary role of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council is to enhance wealth creation in the Rockford Region by marketing the area and helping employers retain and create quality jobs. The RAEDC works closely with many partners to serve as a one-stop resource for clients, to improve the competitiveness of the region, and to engage the community in the work of economic development.


Christine Barragan
Business Development Manager
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Connecting Rockford Region Suppliers to Opportunity


Adam-KinzingerHosted by Congressman Adam Kinzinger
U.S. House of Representatives
16th Congressional District of Illinois



August 13, 2014

8:00 am - 8:30 am ~ Check-In
8:30 am - 12:30 pm ~ Presentation & Individual Meetings
Northern Illinois University-Rockford, 8500 E. State St., Rockford, IL

Congressman Kinzinger has invited Lockheed Martin representatives to speak with regional suppliers, and to share insights on how to do business with Lockheed Martin. This free event includes:

  • A presentation by Lockheed Martin on how to become a supplier.
  • 10-minute individual meetings with a Lockheed Martin representative.

Registration is Required, by August 6 
Contact Bea Miller at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 815.969.4255.

For the past six years, McHenry County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) has recognized outstanding companies who have made a positive impact on McHenry County’s economy and who are exceptional primary employers. (A primary employer is defined as the one creating a product or service that is principally sold outside of a region, thereby generating new money and profits into the region. Examples include manufacturing, back-office operations or service centers, corporate headquarters, distribution facilities and research and development to name a few.) These companies have vision, strategy, as well as best practices that make them stand out among others.

You may have a corporate park neighbor, a supplier or customer that you find exceptional or you may be an employee who feels their employer provides a great work environment or goes the extra mile to help the employees. Nominations are being accepted for the 2014 Business Champion Awards. As a CEO or a member of the executive team of a company that is proud of recent expansion, acquisition, special project or growth, we welcome your self-nomination.

Nominations categories are based on the number of employees - small -24 or less, medium – 25 to 100, large - over 100, as well as a special category for those companies who have over 300 employees. Judges are business leaders from outside of the county.

After a company is nominated, members of the MCEDC Business Champion task force will reach out to the nominated companies to explain the Business Champion program and provide assistance. All nominees are introduced during the MCEDC Annual Dinner Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 at the Holiday Inn in Crystal Lake, and also have an opportunity to display their product or company marketing materials at the event. The 2014 Business Champions will be announced at the dinner and presented with their awards by our keynote speaker, Eric Tech, Senior VP Strategy & Planning, President Global and Specialty Businesses of Navistar Inc.

Pam Cumpata, MCEDC President stated “MCEDC’s previous Business Champions – Phoenix Woodstock, Advanced Flexible Composites, Watlow and Covidien in 2013; Chroma Corporation, All-Rite Spring, Impact Plastics in 2012; Other World Computing, Dordan Manufacturing, Joule Technologies in 2011; Scot Forge, Jan Air, Astro Craft in 2010; Medela, Millennium Electronics, Stan’s Office Technologies in 2009; Pioneer Center for Human Services, Prairie Ridge Media/McHenry County Living, & New Concepts Development Corporation/Other World Computing in 2008 are all exceptional primary employers and valuable corporate citizens. We look forward to adding to this prestigious list of McHenry County employers”.

The deadline for submitting Business Champion nominations is August 30, 2014. CLICK HERE for the Nomination form or call the MCEDC office at 815.893-0895.

Burnex Corporation Acquires Diemode Tool, Inc.RINGWOOD, IL – Burnex Corporation is pleased to announce the acquisition of Diemode Tool, Inc., formerly located in Genoa City, IL. Burnex has acquired the assets including the production tooling along with their current customers. Chuck Duha, President of Diemode, will bring his experience and expertise along with him to Burnex. We are pleased to have him joining our team! As explained by Manfred Suhr CEO and Scott Suhr President.

“Diemode Tool Inc. has been in business since 1984; a family owned and operated business. Their manufacturing and die design is a perfect match for how Burnex prides themselves on building and designing high quality dies to last. All of their parts will fit into our production presses with no additional capital equipment required”.

Chuck Duha started his apprenticeship in 1981. Along with tool and die making, he has also learned die design. With those qualifications and experience, he will assist with day to day operations and engineering assistance here at Burnex Corp.

Founded in 1972 by Manfred Suhr CEO, Burnex has remained a family-owned and operated business. Burnex Corporation pioneered the planetary geared high speed stamping & bending machines and also operates traditional stamping punch presses. The planetary geared high speed stamping and bending machines have a center component which rotates and draws tools to form the product. Burnex is the only manufacturer which uses this equipment in a job-shop atmosphere. The result is the flexibility to change between production jobs like conventional punch presses at a competitive cost and consistent quality.

For more information, visit or call Matt Gilmore, Regional Sales Manager, at 815.728.1317, extension 204.

CLICK HERE to visit

Thanks to General Kinematics (Crystal Lake) for hosting the I Make America Tour on Friday June 6, 2014. Recognized for its manufacturing of vibrating feeders, conveyors and process equipment, General Kinematics is a vital contributor to McHenry County’s economy. It’s management and employees were on hand to view the specially created ‘I Make America’ Harley-Davison Road King as well as learn about the I Make America domestic public policy advocacy group of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).


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Manufacturing Careers Internship Program

The MCWN Youth Program partnered with Business and Career Services (BCS) to provide youth with an opportunity to participate in the Manufacturing Careers Internship Program (MCIP). Youth in the MCIP participated in a 3 week Bootcamp in which they received their OSHA 10 Hour General Industry Safety Certification, learned the “A Game” strategies that employers look for, and participated in a Power Employment Workshop. Youth also had the opportunity to participate in 8 different company tours/presentations with different manufacturing companies throughout McHenry County.

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620 Dakota Street • Crystal Lake, IL 60012
(815) 893-0895