Great Lakes Manufacturing Council celebrates accomplishments, passes torch to Council of the Great Lakes Region

Following 10 years of successfully bringing people together to work individually and collectively to improve the conditions for successful manufacturing in the Great Lakes region, the Board of Directors of the Great Lakes Manufacturing Council (GLMC) has decided to cease the GLMC’s operations and pass the torch to the Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR).

Established in 2007 as a binational 501(c)3 organization, the GLMC was formed to promote, preserve and enhance manufacturing in the Great Lakes Region. Since then, the GLMC has created and disseminated an image of the importance of the region that is now widely used by public sector and private sector leaders: specifically, that the Great Lakes economic region, rooted in manufacturing, would represent the third-largest economy in the world if the eight U.S. states in the trading region and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec were a country.

“The GLMC has fostered a number of initiatives and forums to help organizations with a commitment to successful manufacturing to connect with, to work with, and to learn from one another,” said Sherm Johnson, President of the GLMC. “The council helped to create a much deeper understanding among policymakers and many organizations of the vital, foundational role of manufacturing in the Great Lakes.”

The nonprofit was started and led by Ed Wolking, then the Executive Vice-President of the Detroit Regional Chamber, with support from the Government of Canada. “We fostered innovative partnerships, identified best practices, enhanced resources and increased exposure to new ideas, all at a time when the sector needed a boost,” said Wolking, past-President of the GLMC. “Today the sector and the economy are stronger and many groups and companies are touting strong, positive messages about manufacturing in the region. We met our goals!”

However, as Great Lakes manufacturing strengthens, there are a range of issues, from the region’s regulatory environment and demographic headwinds, to trade policy, automation, infrastructure renewal and supply chain resiliency that will need to be monitored, understood and acted on. Therefore, as the GLMC ceases operations, the Council of the Great Lakes Region is pleased to announce that it will take up the GLMC’s focus on manufacturing and many of its outreach activities and dialogues.

“The Great Lakes Manufacturing Council has been a strong leader and voice for Great Lakes manufacturing since 2007, especially during the recent Great Recession which created significant downward pressure on the manufacturing sector globally,” said Mark Fisher, President and CEO of the Council of the Great Lakes Region. “Looking ahead, as the competitiveness of this important sector improves, CGLR will ensure there is a venue to consider the issues facing manufacturing in the Great Lakes to ensure its long-term success within a robust and diversified Great Lakes economy.”

Formed in 2013, CGLR was established to create a stronger and more dynamic culture of cross-border collaboration in harnessing the economic strengths of the Great Lakes Region, while improving the well-being of the region’s citizens and protecting the environment for future generations. It achieves this mandate by conducting evidenced-based research on the biggest economic, social and environmental policy issues facing the region, convening regional leaders and diverse perspectives at events like the Great Lakes Economic Forum, and carrying out advocacy campaigns to raise awareness about the region. Members of the GLMC will automatically become members of CGLR.

A summary of the GLMC’s accomplishments can be found here.

Maritime Editorial