Catalyzing the most efficient, capable, and accessible metal manufacturing supply chains.

The Southland‘s MM&E cluster
The southern suburbs of Chicago (the “Southland”) are home to nearly 700,000 people and over 42,000 businesses. While there has been significant decline in manufacturing, the Southland still houses many manufacturing assets (workforce, firms, industrial land, infrastructure) which can serve as a base to reestablish the Southland as an economic hub. In particular, the metals, machinery and equipment (MM&E) sector still has a strong presence generating $3B in revenue from just under 600 firms with 20,000 employees.


A Southland Metals Hub
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted manufacturing and supply chains up and down the line. This presents an opportunity for building new, integrated local and regional supply chains to serve OEMs. Establishing a hub for MM&E companies in the Southland – an industry organization – could help find projects and assemble new flexible teams to create new MM&E supply chains connected to Southland manufacturers. Through new market research, inter-company cooperation, and networking, firms could combine resources to:

  • enter new markets
  • collaborate to extend market penetration
  • gain and exchange knowledge
  • acquire technologies and resources
  • build economies of scale


In addition, as MM&E firm capabilities, capacity is assessed for collaborative supply chain formation, the hub could also work with participating firms to enhance their technological and operational capabilities and address workforce and other needs.


More Information
Much work has yet to be done to refine the hub concept and develop a launch and operating plan. We are reaching out to MM&E manufacturing executives to gather input, measure response, and learn how they would turn this concept, which has been proven in other markets, into a reality here. If you’re interested in learning more about the hub concept or participating in these discussions, contact Derek Sherman at 630-462-9222 x 705 or Eric Canada, 630-462-9222 x 700, Blane Canada Ltd. Blane, Canada is working on the Hub concept development team for The Southland Development Authority.

The Southland Development Authority is a non-profit business organization designed to grow the economy of the South Suburbs. Launched in 2019 by business, civic and political leaders across the Southland, SDA brings the resources and capacity necessary to achieve transformative and inclusive economic growth for our region.