Workshop Focuses on Workforce, DEI and Talent Acquisition For Will County Manufacturing Excellence

Workshop Focuses on Workforce, DEI and Talent Acquisition For Will County Manufacturing Excellence

In the news

Workshop Focuses on Workforce, DEI and Talent Acquisition For Will County Manufacturing Excellence

Workshop Group

Breakfast brought industry partners together sharing best practices.

The Will County CED has aligned with IMEC (Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center) and Joliet Junior College to present the first in a series of workshops aimed at supporting Will County manufacturers looking to grow, plan, improve, and lead.

Our first workshop featured networking, roundtable conversations and engaging panel discussions among diverse manufacturers from throughout Will County expertly moderated by Paola Velasquez, Director of DEI in Manufacturing with IMEC. Participating panelists represented G&W Electric Company, Gallagher Asphalt Corporation, ExxonMobil, Integrity Manufacturing Inc., National Tube Supply Company, and The Lion Electric Company. We thank them for their valuable insight and candidness.

“Will County’s strong growth in manufacturing and attractiveness as a place for new industry is due to our location, infrastructure, strong pro-business communities and quality workforce.” said Will County Executive, Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

IMEC Illinois President Dave Boulay expressed how the strong partnerships that exist among organizations in attendance including Joliet Junior College, The Workforce Board of Will County, The Will County Center for Economic Development, elected officials, and many others, create a phenomenal ecosystem that make events such as today happen.

“We are all here today to bring focus to the dialogue around how we continually improve and compete. I am excited about the conversations today as we all look to powering the workforce, thinking about expanding talent pipelines and thinking about a more inclusive culture.”

Joliet Junior College President Dr. Clyne Namuo, shared Joliet Junior College’s pride in its many strategic partnerships within the manufacturing community, many partners in attendance. He cited the College’s numerous non-credit continuing education opportunities delivered through its Corporate and Community Services programming.

Joliet Junior College serves thousands of students in manufacturing-related programs each year and last year completed 364 credentials offered in manufacturing–related programs. These completions happen due to a concerted effort to support the work done in the industries represented at this workshop.

Senator Meg Cappel offered brief remarks underscoring her commitment to bettering Will County’s manufacturing industry and building on its strong foundation in a collaborative way.

The Will County Center for Economic Development looks forward to our next workshop in the series scheduled for October. Any Will County manufacturer is welcome to join us as we work together to empower this industry in Will County and drive it to new heights of excellence. Event and program information can be found on our website under “Programs & Events” or email us us contactus@willcountyced.com to make sure you get an invitation.

“Participating in the workshop was a great experience. Everyone did a fantastic job putting the event together and moderating the discussion. It was very helpful and insightful to hear all of the different ways companies are working to overcome the same challenges and also share the great work we are doing at G&W Electric as well. Thank you for the opportunity and look forward to the next event!”

Anthony Matteucci

Global Talent Acquisition Manager, G&W Electric Company, Bolingbrook

“I loved being able to share insights and our efforts in recruiting, retention, and development and I also received so many great recommendations, best practices and innovative ideas that I will certainly bring to our organization.”

Ashley Trost

Director of People and Culture, Gallagher Asphalt Corporation

“It was wonderful to see so many workforce development, educational, political and industrial professionals come together to hear about the challenges and success of manufacturers regarding workforce recruitment, onboarding and retention.” 

Kraig Kistinger

Director of Human Resources, National Tube Supply

Eye Opener Breakfast Details Will County Successes & More!

Eye Opener Breakfast Details Will County Successes & More!

In the news

Eye Opener Breakfast Details Will County Successes & More!

Doug Pryor speaking to attendees of the 2023 Breakfast Eye Opener

Excited to see more than 240 guests last month at this annual midyear event.

CED Chair Ruth Colby welcomed guests representing investors, non-investors, elected officials, municipal staff, community organizations, and more to this midyear opportunity to gather and hear about successes and growth of Will County over the past year.

Ruth recognized the CED Board of Directors for their important leadership to help make the CED and Will County the best it can be.

Ruth warmly thanked the Investors of the CED underscoring that for more than 40 years, the CED has relied on these contributions and support to drive investment and opportunity to Will County.

Will County Executive, Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, offered opening remarks reminding those gathered how Will County offers a prime location and amenities for a wide range of industries.

The County Executive spoke of our strength and focus on the future specifically in the green industry. Will County has seen an increase in clean energy transportation businesses, and she discussed how Will County is well positioned for continued success in this industry.

Additionally, she spoke of Will County’s leadership role across Chicagoland, joining with six other counties and the City of Chicago for a first-of-its-kind partnership focused on economic development for the entire region. “This partnership will help diversify our economy and attract business from around the world to Will County.”

CED President & CEO, Doug Pryor, presented on important economic indicators, including labor force, jobs, job openings, unemployment and salaries including these highlights:

  • Will County employment hit a new all-time high in April 2023, up 67,000 from the Covid trough.
  • High job growth and modest workforce gains hold unemployment numbers very low – among the lowest ever recorded in Will County.
  • Manufacturing remains the largest sector of Will County’s economy, adding more than 1,000 jobs and $339 million in new wages in the past two years.
  • The Will County labor force continues to grow slowly from Covid lows, up only 4,000 from April 2019.
  • Like the rest of the nation, low unemployment continues to drive Will County wages higher, with wages for all industries up 17% since 2019.

Additionally, Doug reiterated how Will County has the tools to attract the economy of the future, major projects underway or recently completed, real estate and housing data as well as industrial and commercial development updates. The CED is undertaking some exciting programming with new community partnerships that will continue to demonstrate the mission to improve the quality of life for residents and businesses. Check out the “Will County Summer Internship Program” information below.

In the months ahead we will be sharing details and progress on these new partnerships such as the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership, Brownfield Assessment Grant, the Will County Internship Program Pilot and more.

Thank you to all our Eye Opener sponsors, Clayco, Prairie State College, “D” Construction, Ketone Partners, Silver Cross Hospital, Heartland Bank, and Cadence Premier Logistics!

Check out the great event photos here!

Current News

Eye Opener Breakfast Details Will County Successes & More!

Eye Opener Breakfast Details Will County Successes & More!

Excited to see more than 240 guests last month at this annual midyear event. CED Chair Ruth Colby welcomed guests representing investors, non-investors, elected officials, municipal staff, community organizations, and more to this midyear opportunity to gather and hear about successes and growth of Will County over the past year.

read more

The WKRDA is Seeking Proposals for Executive Director

The WKRDA is Seeking Proposals for Executive Director

In the news

The WKRDA is Seeking Proposals for Executive Director

The Request For Proposals with details regarding the position is below. Note the deadline to apply is Friday, June 23rd.

Seeking proposals for executive director wkrda

The duties of the Executive Director shall include, but not be limited to, the following: The Executive Director will work with the Development Authority Board of Directors, existing clients, potential clients and all interested parties regarding requests for financial assistance through the Development Authority and the processing of such requests.

The Executive Director will provide information regarding the alternatives available, servicing accounts, the decision-making process, board and committee structures, deal structuring, alternative strategies, loan and investment instruments, benefits and returns, risks, marketing, and other issues.

For more information on WKRDA, visit the website: www.wkrda.com

RFP Responses

Responses to this Request for Proposal for Executive Director of Will Kankakee Regional Development Authority must be submitted via email to Will Kankakee Regional Development Authority Board Chair Michael O’Brien at WillKankakeeRDA@gmail.com NOT LATER THAN 5:00 PM ON FRIDAY JUNE 23, 2023.

Responses to this RFP shall be construed as acceptance of the terms and conditions included within this solicitation.

Responses to this RFP will be reviewed by the Board of Directors of the Will Kankakee Regional Development Authority, which reserves the right to accept or reject any or all responses received as a result of this solicitation.

This RFP will be available in electronic format at WKRDA.COM.

Please contact Will Kankakee Regional Development Authority Board Chair Michael O’Brien at WillKankakeeRDA@gmail.com with any questions regarding this RFP.

More In The News

Will County Center for Economic Development Awarded $400,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant by U.S. EPA

Will County Center for Economic Development Awarded $400,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant by U.S. EPA

In the news

Will County Center for Economic Development Awarded $400,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant by U.S. EPA

Areal view of bridge with traffic

The Will County Center for Economic Development is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $400,000 Brownfields Assessment grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

This grant provides funding to identify sites and conduct a range of planning activities, develop site specific clean-up plans, and community outreach related to brownfield sites with an emphasis on the Des Plaines River corridor 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 productive uses.

“Turning vacant or underutilized spaces into thriving community hubs is one of the cornerstones of our Rebuild Illinois infrastructure plan, and I’m pleased to see the Biden Administration provide funding for brownfields revitalization in Will County,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This support marks another milestone in our journey to advance educational, environmental, economic and health justice for all Illinois residents.”

“Thank you to the U.S. EPA for providing the opportunity and funding for Will County to assess areas of environmental concern,” said Doug Pryor, President and CEO of Will County Center for Economic Development. “This grant will serve as a catalyst for needed cleanup and create opportunities for new growth in long disinvested areas of Will County. This work will help promote private investment, create jobs, and encourage growth in the County’s communities.”

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. “This grant is an important first step in empowering community-focused development in these neglected areas,” said Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant. “By eliminating blight and reducing the risk of environmental contamination in this region, we are supporting greener, healthier neighborhoods, as well as needed economic development.”

“We are looking forward to utilizing this opportunity to create positive outcomes for Joliet by removing environmental barriers to growth and opportunity,” added Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk. “Thank you to the Center for Economic Development and United States Environmental Protection Agency Region V for your partnership.”

“Many brownfield sites across the country are in ‘downtown’ areas revealing that cities and towns were often built up in conjunction with one another. These vacated industrial sites are in prime, walkable locations where people live,” Lockport Mayor Steven Streit said. “There is wisdom in investing money to repurpose such brownfields. Restoring them back into functional places means there is one less bit of prime farmland being over-turned for new development on the far edge of town. Building back walkable, thriving communities where people both live AND work is the blueprint of civilizations since settlements first began. I applaud our lawmakers for making funds available to assist in the cleanup of these strategic places.”

“I would like to thank U.S. EPA for the $400,000 of funding for the Brownfield Assessment grant for the Village of Rockdale and our neighboring communities,” said Sam Wyke, Mayor of Rockdale. “Investment in brownfields programs in communities like Rockdale has had a positive impact throughout the nation. Our community was settled by workers of companies and businesses involved with heavy industries that provided many jobs. Now, most of the industrial sites have been vacant or underutilized for several generations. We need to determine the unrealized potential and opportunities of the unused industrial sites. Turning polluted properties back into productive real estate will help us bring the jobs back to our Village. The grant will improve public health and safety and will also increase the tax base.”

For more information on the Environmental Protection Agency or Brownfield Assessment Grants, please visit https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/brownfields-assessment-grants

Current News

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

CED Announces Recognition of 2023 Economic Development Week

CED Announces Recognition of 2023 Economic Development Week

In the news

Will County Center for Economic Development Announces Recognition of 2023 Economic Development Week

The international event will highlight local efforts to increase the quality of life in every community over the course of May 8 to May 12, 2023

The Will County Center for Economic Development marks the week of May 8 to May 12, 2023, as Economic Development Week 2023. During this week, communities across North America will celebrate and recognize the contributions made by professional economic developers to create more economically vibrant and livable communities.

Photo of Michael Schwarz Direct of Community Development from Village of Frankfort

Created in 2016 by International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the largest international professional trade association for economic developers, Economic Development Week increases awareness for local programs that create jobs, advance career development opportunities, and improve the quality of life in communities everywhere.

During Economic Development Week the Will County CED will amplify the work of collaborative community economic development and economic developers through a social media campaign featuring CED investors, public and private partners, elected officials, and business leaders sharing their perspectives and support for this work.

Photo Dr. Peter March - Mayor Village of Peotone

“This is an opportunity to highlight community leaders who are working tirelessly to advance quality economic development. I am grateful for their efforts to provide high-paying jobs for our residents and ensure a high quality of life in all Will County communities,” said Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

Photo of Tanya Bryja Joliet Refinery Manager at ExxonMobil Joliet

Will County and its municipalities have been among the most successful in Illinois in residential and population growth, business attraction, and job creation. Economic Development Week 2023 offers the opportunity to highlight important partnerships and celebrate how collaborating with government leaders, industry, education partners, and our talented workforce helps Will County continue grow and lead in Illinois.

“The work of the CED is only accomplished through collaboration with our strong community leaders and partners. Their work makes Will County a place that is both attractive for business attraction and for residents who choose Will County for its high quality of life. During economic development week, we want to take the opportunity to give thanks to our partners in economic development who contribute to the success of the region.” said Doug Pryor, President & CEO, Will County Center for Economic Development.

During 2023 International Economic Development Week we are amplifying the work of collaborative community economic development and economic developers through a social media campaign featuring CED investors, public and private partners, elected officials, and business leaders sharing their perspectives and support for this work.

Thank you to John Noak, Mayor of the Village of Romeoville for participating in this important campaign.

Thank you to Erskine ‘Chuck’ Faush, Director, Community Economic Development, NICOR Gas for participating in this important campaign.

Thank you to Ruth Colby, President & CEO, Silver Cross Hospital for participating in this important campaign.

Thank you to Mimi Cowan, Head of External Affairs, DCEO for participating in this important campaign.

Thank you to Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, County Executive for participating in this important campaign.

Thank you to Yvette Saba, President South Region NorthShore Edward-Elmhurst Health for participating in this important campaign.

Thank you Dr. Clyne Namuo, President, Joliet Junior College for kicking off the week with your heartfelt message.

Thank you Tanya Bryja, Refinery Manager – ExxonMobil Joliet Refinery for sharing your important message