Governor JB Pritzker Gives Special Thanks to Manufacturers in Illinois

“Illinois manufacturers have a proud history of ingenuity, innovation and resilience. And, despite the extraordinary challenges presented by COVID-19, they continue to persevere by adapting operations and offering life-saving solutions to this crisis,” said Governor JB Pritzker.  “During this year’s National Manufacturing Month, we must give special thanks to the hardworking men and women who have gone above and beyond to create new products and devices and to put their communities first so that we can deploy the level of health response that this crisis has demanded from all of us. With the industry on pace to grow and to become even more critical in the years ahead, I encourage Illinoisans to join us this month to honor the role of our manufacturers.”
Each year, National Manufacturing Month represents an opportunity to recognize the essential economic contributions manufacturers provide and to call attention to the importance of this growing industry and the 21st century job opportunities it can provide to Illinois residents. Over the next eight years, it’s estimated that 4.6 million new manufacturing jobs will need to be filled nationwide.
Crafts Technology, an employee owned company, designs and produces advanced systems and tooling supporting some of the largest electronics, aerospace and medical manufacturers in the world. The company history of producing critical tooling paved the way for it to ramp up production of COVID-19 test equipment earlier this year. Its production scale-up has been central in the efforts of global medical diagnostics companies as testing capacity emerged and remains a critical need in the fight against COVID-19. These products are essential to the mass production of medical products such as vials, syringes, blood tubes and medical electronics, specifically helping frontline healthcare workers battle the virus. 
Under the leadership of Governor Pritzker, the state of Illinois has made continued investments to bolster the manufacturing industry and to prepare communities for the future growth of the industry – with extensive investments in workforce training programs, transportation infrastructure, and with an expansion of economic development tools, like the apprenticeship tax credit to expand the manufacturing pipeline of talent and extension of the research and development tax credit to ensure cutting-edge products are developed here in Illinois.

Governor JB Pritzker gives thanks for Manufacturers in Illinois

“As home to more than 400 manufacturers that employ 15,000 Illinoisans, Elk Grove Village salutes innovators like Crafts Technology and all the companies that have answered the call to produce goods and materials that are helping the overall effort to mitigate this global health crisis,” said Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson.  “Because Elk Grove Village is home to the nation’s largest industrial park, we are keenly aware of the vital role our manufacturers play in helping communities and families thrive and in keeping the Illinois economy moving forward especially during these very challenged times.”
For more information on webinars and manufacturing resources offered by the state of Illinois, visit DCEO’s website. Additionally, DCEO encourages you to join the conversation on manufacturing by following us on social @IllinoisDCEO and signing up to participate in free virtual events held all month long.

Using Technology to Adapt to Today’s Changes

Joe Abbate is the Technical Sales Manager for Crafts Technology. Recently he was interviewed by Gretchen Salois, a senior editor at FFJournal magazine, which covers breakthrough technology and innovative manufacturing systems used by fabricators and OEMs. The purpose of the interview was to find how manufacturing firms like Crafts Technology were adapting to the COVID -19 pandemic and their use of software to help manage their business.

When the pandemic tied up the economy, Crafts Technology chose to add two software modules to its existing ERP system to streamline operations and communications between remote and on-premise departments.  Abbate stated, “We had to consider that a lot of our workers have gone in to work for 40 years and working from home seemed awkward.  It was not an easy change for them to make”.

Communication and collaboration are key to any teams’ success, and this is no different at Crafts Technology.  A coordinated live meeting among team members was now obstructed by alternating shifts, remote working, social distancing, and face coverings.  As if effective communication was not difficult enough.   

shop software
Joe Abbate showing how shop software helped company during pandemic

Using this new software, Crafts Technology was able to provide employees with updated visual display boards to increase information flow to the shop.  Workers back on site are also aided by electronic devices to help mitigate any confusion.  “We’re able to hold production meetings as we would normally,” says Abbate.  When we are not doing production meetings virtually, we socially distance (keeping 6ft apart) and have given our workers iPads and headphones to follow along during meetings on the floor. 

As part of the Crafts Technology management and leadership team, Joe helps develop, plan, and execute company strategic initiatives as well as support customer application solutions. Joe’s strong background in engineering, operations, grinding, and sales make him a great resource for solving industrial challenges both for customers and for Crafts Technology.

At Crafts, Joe has led projects for CRM deployment, ERP utilization and reporting, and capital equipment justification. Joe believes in communicating business information throughout the organization so that smart, data-driven decisions that align with company goals are made daily. He has a special interest in prioritizing on-time delivery, quality, and customer satisfaction performance. To read the entire interview – visit