CED After 3 Events Return for 2024

CED After 3 Events Return for 2024

In the news

CED After 3 Events Return for 2024

Harbour Contractors, Inc. in Plainfield hosts Year’s First Event!

The first event of the year held on February 21 was a great success with over 55 investors of the Will County CED attending. Harbour Contractors, Inc. graciously hosted showcasing their beautiful headquarters in Plainfield. We truly appreciate their hospitality! Thank you also to Comcast for sponsoring.

Kristin Erickson presenting at community outreach

CED's After 3 Event

CED After 3 events take place between 3 and 5:30pm and aim to highlight sites and industries around Will County. We are incredibly excited by the enthusiasm and feedback expressed by those in attendance and are already planning our next event in April.

These exclusive CED Investor events are casual and offer opportunities to meet and network with fellow leaders and supporters of the CED.

Check out the photo album.

Current News

CED After 3 Events Return for 2024

CED After 3 Events Return for 2024

Harbour Contractors, Inc. in Plainfield hosts Year’s First Event! The first event of the year held on February 21 was a great success with over 55 investors of the Will County CED attending. Harbour Contractors, Inc.

read more
2023 – Exciting Year For Will County

2023 – Exciting Year For Will County

Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant greeted guests last month at the CED’s Annual Report to Investors breakfast exclaiming “This has been an exciting year for Will County. We remain a state and national economic leader and have grown into a hub of industry, manufacturing, and transportation.”

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2023 – Exciting Year For Will County

2023 – Exciting Year For Will County

In the news

2023 – Exciting Year For Will County

Doug Pryor talking in front of graph for the 2023 Annual report to investors

Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant greeted guests last month at the CED’s Annual Report to Investors breakfast exclaiming “This has been an exciting year for Will County. We remain a state and national economic leader and have grown into a hub of industry, manufacturing, and transportation.”

She shared how she is often asked by other state leaders why economic development is so strong in Will County. “We have amazing innovators and business leaders, along with a strong bench of elected leaders at the local, state, and federal level who know how to get things done.”

2024 CED Chair Arvid Johnson warmly welcomed members of the CED Board of Directors and thanked them for their time, guidance, and leadership in making Will County the best it can be. Dr. Johnson acknowledged the passing of dear friend to many, Ruth Colby, who served as the Chair of the CED for the past two years and has been an extraordinary community leader during her time at Silver Cross Hospital. “She will be missed by all of us who were graced by her presence.”

Dr. Johnson went on to thank all CED Investors in attendance and those who could not attend affirming “You make the successes of Will County possible. Thank you for your generous support and we look forward to 2024 and beyond.”

Doug Pryor, CED President & CEO addressed the gathered crowd of more than 335 in attendance and thanked and acknowledged what an extraordinary group of leaders were in the room. Pryor recognizing our Annual Report sponsors including Presenting Sponsor Governors State University. Doug gratefully acknowledged the support of elected officials throughout the county and identified them individually in the room.

Pryor continued to present 2023 regional economic development.

Highlights included:

  • Will County as the #1 job creator in Illinois (2019-2023) adding 12,000 jobs.
  • Will County as the #1 single family housing builder in Illinois including Plainfield ranked #1.
  • Will County #1 in Illinois in terms of industrial development.
  • Manufacturing is the #1 industry in Will County with $6 billion in output and $1.8 billion in wages.
  • The strength of Will County manufacturers was featured including Diageo, Hengli, DuPont, Provisur, G&W Electric and Hyzon.

Pryor highlighted 2023 Will County infrastructure projects completed and new projects underway including the I-80 Will rebuild, Houbolt Road Extension bridge and Houbolt Road Diverging Diamond at I-80. Lastly, he shared new CED initiatives including an EPA Brownfield grant and the Summer 2024 Will County Summer Internship Program.

View the CED 2023 Annual Report to Investors Presentation

View the CED 2023 Annual Report

Current News

CED After 3 Events Return for 2024

CED After 3 Events Return for 2024

Harbour Contractors, Inc. in Plainfield hosts Year’s First Event! The first event of the year held on February 21 was a great success with over 55 investors of the Will County CED attending. Harbour Contractors, Inc.

read more
2023 – Exciting Year For Will County

2023 – Exciting Year For Will County

Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant greeted guests last month at the CED’s Annual Report to Investors breakfast exclaiming “This has been an exciting year for Will County. We remain a state and national economic leader and have grown into a hub of industry, manufacturing, and transportation.”

read more

Thank you to the CED Investors who graciously sponsored this important annual update. We are grateful for their commitment to this event and appreciate their support.

Thank you to Governors State University

Polluted Joliet-area sites targeted for cleanup

Polluted Joliet-area sites targeted for cleanup

In the news

Polluted Joliet-area sites targeted for cleanup

Kristin Erickson presenting at community outreach

By Jessie Molloy and Felix Sarver
Shaw Local News Network

A Will County nonprofit began its first efforts on Tuesday to gather input from residents on what potentially contaminated or polluted areas in the region could be cleaned up, reused and redeveloped.

Those areas are called brownfields by the U.S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency. The federal agency awarded a$400,000 grant to the Will County Center For Economic Development to identify and assess those sites.

Will County CED held community outreach meetings on Tuesday inLockport and Joliet where they discussed brownfields and outlined their plans regarding them. The nonprofit has a website calledwillcountybrownfields.com that has further information about the project.

The process will involve community outreach to identify brownfield sites, followed by an environmental assessment of those sites and then the creation of plans for cleanup and reuse.

A brownfield could be a junk yard, a former gas station or an abandoned property that may be contaminated by hazardous substances such as pesticides, metals and asbestos. The EPA funding will not be used for a potentially contaminated site where there is an entity that is responsible for cleanup.

“If we know there’s a company operation that probably have contributed to the contamination … then it is their responsibility to assess and cleanup. It’s not the taxpayer’s money,” said Linda Yang, senior principal for Terracon.

Terracon, an environmental consulting and engineering firm, is one of the many partners working withWill County CED to identify and assess brownfields. Other partners include Will County government,Joliet, Lockport, Rockdale, the EPA and residents.

Lance Thies, Lockport Community and Economic Development director, described Lockport’s identified site as “an illegal dumping ground,” which is located along Canal Street.

“They asked us for input if we knew of any sites while they were putting the grant together about a year, year and a half ago,” Thies said.

“The site is owned by an entity who never got approval, but started dumping there anyway, and it’s never stopped,” Thies explained. “It’s been going on for decades. There are semi-truck trailers and containers out there that people just pulled off the road and left.”

While Thies said the city doubts there are materials like mercury or lead present, he said the number of abandoned vehicles could mean the presence of spilled oil, gas and antifreeze.

The property was previously unincorporated but was annexed by Lockport earlier this year.

“It gives us some level of enforcement authority,” Thies said. “We’ve been working on getting it cleaned up, but it won’t happen overnight.”

Community help needed

In addition to the three earmarked locations, Will County CED is looking for input from the community for other sites which might qualify as brownfields, which could have grant money allocated to their evaluation.

Recommended sites will be listed and prioritized and Terracon will evaluate if it is eligible for EPA funding then assess the problems at the site in phases by talking to stakeholders, reviewing records, taking soil samples, and testing for underground storage tanks and vapors.

“It’s a very common mentality to not want to touch sites it they are perceived to have environmental problems, because developers don’t have the budget to deal with it. In reality though, some are not that bad when you look at them,” Yang said.

The evaluation process would determine what needs to be done at each evaluated site and begin creating plans for remediation to make the properties usable.

Once plans are in place, the county can apply for further grant funding to support the clean-up efforts.

“It’s a dynamic process,” said CED Economic Development Project Manager Kristin Erickson. “We’re just beginning the work with this community outreach.”

The grant lasts for three years, during which time more sites can be identified and evaluated.

According to Yang, the largest portion of the costs goes to creating remediation plans for eligible sites, so it is not known yet how many sites may be addressed in the grant window.

While the CED will accept site recommendations on an ongoing basis, Thies encouraged residents to make recommendations for sites they already know about in the next month to ensure high-need areas are looked at.

Current News

Polluted Joliet-area sites targeted for cleanup

Polluted Joliet-area sites targeted for cleanup

In the newsPolluted Joliet-area sites targeted for cleanupBy Jessie Molloy and Felix SarverShaw Local News Network A Will County nonprofit began its first efforts on Tuesday to gather input from residents on what potentially contaminated or polluted areas in the...

read more

Brownfields Assessment Grant Community Outreach Begins

Brownfields Assessment Grant Community Outreach Begins

In the news

Brownfields Assessment Grant Community Outreach Begins

The Will County Center for Economic Development (CED) will be hosting public meetings on Tuesday, November 14th in Joliet and Lockport to share information and invite community participation in the Will County Brownfields Program.

The CED was awarded a USEPA Brownfields Assessment Grant in the amount of $400,000 to assist with identification and clean-up of brownfield sites in Will County. Brownfield sites are those contaminated by hazardous substances, pollutants, and contaminants. Once remediated, former brownfield properties can be redeveloped into a variety of productive uses.

The grant provides funding to identify sites and conduct a range of planning activities, develop site specific clean-up plans, and complete Phase I and Phase II environmental engineering for qualified sites, with a special emphasis on the Des Plaines River corridor in Will County. The Lockport meeting will take place at City Hall at 9 a.m. and the Joliet meeting will be held at the Joliet Public Library Ottawa Street Branch at 4 p.m.

The Center for Economic Development worked closely with the communities of Joliet, Lockport, and Rockdale and the County of Will through the application process. These communities helped develop an outstanding case highlighting Will County’s need to address the environmental and human health issues in brownfield areas.

Beginning in November, we will begin working with residents living in the target areas during community meetings to create a thorough site inventory for assessment. Properties identified during community outreach activities will be researched further to evaluate their qualifications for inclusion in the determination of eligibility.

Community engagement is crucial to the success of this Assessment Grant. Therefore, community meetings are being planned to keep the public informed on project plans and provide project updates. Interested property owners and residents can receive more information, suggest potential sites, and ask questions.

Additional grant and meeting information can be found at www.willcountybrownfields.com. Registration is preferred, but not required.

Current News

Polluted Joliet-area sites targeted for cleanup

Polluted Joliet-area sites targeted for cleanup

In the newsPolluted Joliet-area sites targeted for cleanupBy Jessie Molloy and Felix SarverShaw Local News Network A Will County nonprofit began its first efforts on Tuesday to gather input from residents on what potentially contaminated or polluted areas in the...

read more

A Special Message from the CED

A Special Message from the CED

In the news

A Special Message from the CED

Ruth Colby

On behalf of the CED Board of Directors and staff, we are deeply saddened by the passing of CED Board Chair Ruth Colby.

Ruth has been an inspirational leader here at the CED and throughout the community. As our Chair for the last two years, Ruth was a mentor and inspiration to all of us. Throughout her career, Ruth achieved not only extraordinary professional success, but also touched the lives of so many that were fortunate enough to work alongside her. She led us with an infectious enthusiasm and a positive energy that will be terribly missed.

We extend our deepest condolences to Ruth’s family, friends, and the Silver Cross Hospital team during this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with them as they grieve the loss of a remarkable leader.

While we mourn her loss, let us also remember the bright light and spirit she shared with us. We are driven to carry forward the legacy of generosity and unity she left behind by continuing to work together to create the best possible Will County for all its people.

With deep sorrow and fond remembrance

Current News

CED After 3 Events Return for 2024

CED After 3 Events Return for 2024

Harbour Contractors, Inc. in Plainfield hosts Year’s First Event! The first event of the year held on February 21 was a great success with over 55 investors of the Will County CED attending. Harbour Contractors, Inc.

read more
2023 – Exciting Year For Will County

2023 – Exciting Year For Will County

Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant greeted guests last month at the CED’s Annual Report to Investors breakfast exclaiming “This has been an exciting year for Will County. We remain a state and national economic leader and have grown into a hub of industry, manufacturing, and transportation.”

read more