The Quad Cities Chamber hosted leadership from Illinois defense communities across the state on Thursday, Oct. 18, as part of the Illinois Defense Industry Adjustment (DIA) Program’s quarterly regional update. The Illinois DIA Program supports the state’s defense and manufacturing industries by delivering resources and providing new insights that help companies and communities grow, diversify, and become more resilient.
Phase one of the Illinois DIA Program was launched in 2015. Phase one partners, the University of Illinois System and Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, will be joined in phase two by the Chicago Metro Metal Consortium, the Rockford Area Economic Development Council, and the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council.
The Chamber’s Quad Cities Manufacturing Innovation Hub’s support programs and services have served as a pilot program for other stakeholders during phase I. Program stakeholders can work together to share resources and best practices that can be replicated in other markets statewide. The Hub’s framework has included trainings, networking opportunities, one-on-one project implementation support, and online guides to assist with the adoption of new digital technologies.
The first phase of the project also relied on data collection to identify the full scope of defense assets across the state, as well as industries that are reliant on military spending. The second phase will incorporate new partners to help translate the insights gained from the initial phase into meaningful opportunities for companies and the local organizations and economic development stakeholders that support them.