On the tour, participants realized that "tools are elegant."

On the tour, participants appreciated that “tools are elegant.”

A delegation of economic development officials from Brandenburg Germany met with the leaders of the Chicago Metro Metal Consortium (CMMC) on October 8th and leaders of the Chicago Regional Growth Initiative on October 14th. The meetings represented the beginning of a cooperative relationship between the two regions that both boast strong fabricated metals and machinery clusters. At the October 14th meeting, Dr. Steffen Kammradt, CEO, Brandenburg Economic Development Board, stated that he is eager to have further conversations with the CMMC regarding workforce development, innovation and research and international trade. As Brandenburg has a more established metal cluster organization, and Germany’s work with economic clusters represents a best practice, Michael Jasso, Bureau Chief, for the Cook County’ Bureau of Economic Development welcomed the opportunity to learn from the Brandenburg cluster’s experiences.

Representatives from both Chicago and Brandenburg made presentations regarding the assets of their regions, and emphasized an interest in future collaboration. An informative question and answer period occurred and a commitment was made for further coordination and outreach.

The delegation consisted of four members of the State of Brandenburg, the German Capital Region:
•Mr. Hendrik Fischer
State Secretary and Deputy Minister of the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

•Mrs. Lioba Weitzel
Head of the Department for External Economic Relations and Location Marketing
Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

•Dr. Steffen Kammradt
CEO Brandenburg Economic Development Board

•Mrs. Verena Heyner
Director International Business Development
Brandenburg Economic Development Board

•Philipp Ruta
Senior Manager of Industry Team
Brandenburg Economic Development Board

•Maciej Monkosa
Project Manager for the Metal Cluster
Brandenburg Economic Development Board

Both meetings were organized by Cook County and participants in the meeting with the October Chicago Regional Growth Initiative included: Aaron Lawlor, Chair, Lake County Board, Joseph Gottemoller, Chair, McHenry County Board and representatives from the economic development organizations of Cook, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County and McHenry County.

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