Heading Down the Road: Member Interests Drive Association’s Relocation

The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International, says it wants to be near its member companies—so the association is moving its headquarters closer to Chicago.

The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA), a trade group representing the metal-formation industry, is getting a little closer to Chicagoland, and that should be great news for its members.

Last week the association announced it will move its headquarters from Rockford, Illinois, to a building it will construct in Elgin, putting FMA within the Chicago metropolitan area. Given that many of the association’s members are located along Interstate 90 near Chicago and the new location is much closer to O’Hare International Airport, FMA leadership says the move should prove immensely beneficial to members.

“The new headquarters will offer many benefits to FMA and to the thousands of our constituents located in the Chicagoland area and beyond,” Al Zelt, FMA board chairman, said in a news release. “The location greatly enhances FMA’s ability to serve the metal fabrication industry, which is our overarching goal, and sets the foundation for FMA’s future growth.”

FMA will build a ground-up facility, which will include onsite training. The Elgin facility will also be close to a metal-fabrication lab that the association is constructing on the grounds of Harper College, scheduled to open next month.

In an interview with Northern Public Radio, FMA President and CEO Ed Youdell noted that long-term interests were driving the move.

“If you were to start FMA all over again, where would you locate it? And after researching where our constituency is, where our industry is, where the heart of the market is, it became quite clear that it’s not in Rockford, that it’s along the I-90 corridor,” Youdell explained.

Youdell added that while the association will sell its Rockford headquarters, it will continue its local partnerships and philanthropy efforts in the region.

The move, which won’t cause any loss of staff positions, won’t be instant, as the association doesn’t expect the new headquarters to be ready for employees until November 2016.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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