CAIC - Supporting Industry For 50 Years
In the mid-1960's, the industrial members of the Roseland Chamber of Commerce decided to form a business association that would better serve industry. In 1967, the Calumet Area Industrial Development Commission (CAIDC) was formed. It was incorporated in 1968 as an independent tax exempt organization representing heavy industry, maritime-oriented industries, service companies and financial institutions. Ken Brace was the first Executive Director of the organization and its office was originally located in the historic Pullman Bank & Trust building at 111th & South Park. In the 1980's, the organization relocated to the new Pullman Bank, now US Bank, at 1000 E. 111th Street, where it remains today.
Original members included Republic Steel, US Steel, Continental Bank, Acme Steel, Sherwin Williams, Ingersol, Calumet Heat Treat and other large manufacturing companies. In the late 1960’s, manufacturing, especially steel, was booming and companies were very profitable and able to set their own agendas. A survey of the 100+ members in the late 1970’s showed more than 56,000 jobs within a five-mile radius of CAIC’s office. Then hard times arrived, with the closing or downsizing of many member companies, including US Steel, Pullman Standard, Ingersoll, Electro-Motive Division, Sherwin Williams, Wisconsin Steel and others. Several manufacturing facilities were converted into warehouse operations and membership dropped to about 50 members. Throughout these challenging times, the organization, now named the Calumet Area Industrial Commission (CAIC), continued to serve the changing needs of business and industry within the Greater Calumet Region.
With more than 150 members in the City of Chicago, Southern Cook County & Northwestern Indiana, CAIC continues to initiate, promote and support programs directed toward industrial retention and expansion in the region. CAIC has a variety of workforce development programs to address industry’s need for manufacturing talent & training. With staff expertise in areas related to safety, OSHA, environmental control and economic development, we are able to consult, advise and connect companies with resources that meet their needs. With unmatched access to transportation, including rail, road and waterways, over 30 institutions of higher learning and proximity to suppliers and markets, companies are rediscovering the strengths that have always attracted industry to the region.
New private investment is on the rise; Method Products opening its first North America manufacturing plant in Chicago’s Pullman Corridor; A. Finkl & Sons, Asphalt Operating Services and Alsip Mini-Mill, among others, opening facilities in the region as well, while many others are investing in existing plant and equipment to expand and better serve their customers.