Happy 40th anniversary to Will County Center for Economic Development

Happy 40th anniversary to Will County Center for Economic Development

In the news

Happy 40th Anniversary to Will County Center for Economic Development

By: Carmine Bottigliero, Vice President of Development, CenterPoint Properties

I’m quite proud to represent CenterPoint Properties as a Will County Center for Economic Development Board member. CenterPoint has a long history with the CED and greatly appreciates its work to help businesses connect, collaborate and flourish.

Carmine Bottigliero

I’ve found the board to be a microcosm of the CED investor community: Extensive, diverse and deeply invested in helping each other – and Will County – be the best we can be.

When CenterPoint took on the challenge of redeveloping the Joliet Arsenal as the CenterPoint Intermodal Center in 2000, our company leaders already had great relationships throughout Will County. They saw it as an ideal place to make this our focus in the Midwest. In the more than 20 years since, our ties to Will County have only grown stronger, our roots deeper and our commitment to its people more steadfast.

The success story the CIC has become – and the success of the companies that call it home – is due in no small measure to partnerships like the one we’ve forged with the CED.

CenterPoint recently celebrated the groundbreaking for a major infrastructure project in Joliet, the Houbolt Road Bridge Extension. The state of Illinois, Will County and the city of Joliet, along with our partners in this project, United Bridge Partners, are working together to deliver a host of improvements to make area streets safer, the environment cleaner and truck routes more efficient in and around the CIC. It’s the culmination of more than a decade of planning with a multitude of people and organizations committed to improving Will County.

The CED team have been integral partners in our quest to positively impact the businesses we serve in our park and the people who live in the area. That project and others in the offing across the county are happening in no small part thanks to the CED’s tireless advocacy for infrastructure improvements.

The CED has been a critical resource to CenterPoint as we have cultivated the CIC, just as it is to the companies that employ thousands of people in it. The CED’s impact goes beyond the mission its name implies.

The organization truly puts people and their success at the center of everything it does, which engenders an inherently positive environment for everyone in Will County.

CenterPoint is honored to have been a CED investor for more than 15 years, and we are pleased to be able to thank the people who have shown time and again their dedication to the companies and people of Will County.

Happy 40th anniversary to our friends at the Will County Center for Economic Development.

Carmine Bottigliero
Vice president of development
Center- Point Properties

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Will County Center for Economic Development celebrates 40 years of supporting local businesses

Will County Center for Economic Development celebrates 40 years of supporting local businesses

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Will County Center for Economic Development celebrates 40 years of supporting local businesses

Against a backdrop of a high cost of capital and one of the most severe unemployment rates in the nation, local business leaders stepped forward with a vision to make a change that would set the region on a new economic path. Pooling their own funds, they created the Will County Center for Economic Development, a private nonprofit development organization, in 1981.

Throughout the past 40 years, the CED has been a strategic partner for new and existing businesses in Will County. Through volunteer engagement and financial support from public and private sector leaders, and collaboration with local, state and federal elected officials, the CED has fostered a cooperative environment contributing to the revitalization and growth of the region.

“The CED impacted my business by allowing access to resources and influential business leaders who care about the future of Will County,” said Ed Dollinger, principal with Edward Jones. “But for the CED, my business would not be where it is today.”

Bob Filotto, owner of Filotto Professional Services, concurred. “I have been extremely fortunate to be a member of the CED Board since 1986. I have had the privilege of working alongside inspiring individuals from diverse industries, united to improve the quality of life in the County.” In addition to providing a forum for leaders to work together, several accomplishments can be attributed in part to the CED, including Will County’s status as home to the largest inland port in the nation.

But the work of the CED is not finished. New jobs and businesses require innovative technology. Workers must be equipped to perform the jobs of the future.

Business growth requires solid infrastructure, vibrant communities, sensible regulations, strong educational systems, affordable housing, and diverse cultural and recreational options. As we look to the next 40 years, the CED remains at the forefront of these issues.

“It is often said that the economic viability of a community is a mirror which reflects the efforts of those individuals in leadership positions who are committed to making a difference. That commitment is what has made, and continues to make, the CED a true economic development force – countywide and in the metro Chicago region,” said Jim Roolf, First Midwest Bank senior vice president.

Collectively, these former CED board chairmen – Dollinger, Filotto and Roolf – strongly encourage business leaders to get involved in the CED. Together, we can ensure Will County is a great place to live, work and play – today and tomorrow.

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40 Years Moving Will County Forward!

40 Years Moving Will County Forward!

In the news

40 Years Moving Will County Forward!

By: Carmine Bottigliero, Vice President of Development, CenterPoint Properties

I’m quite proud to represent CenterPoint Properties as a Will County Center for Economic Development Board Member. CenterPoint has a long history with the CED and greatly appreciates its work to help businesses connect, collaborate, and flourish. I’ve found the Board to be a microcosm of the CED investor community: Extensive, diverse, and deeply invested in helping each other – and Will County – be the best we can be.

CED Houbolt bridge-ground breaking ceremony

Pictured left to right: John Greuling, President & CEO, CED; Doug Witt, President & CEO, United Bridge Partners; Denise Winfrey, Will County Board Member District #8; Mimi Cowan, Will County Board Speaker; Nick Palmer, Chief of Staff, Will County Board; and Doug Pryor, VP of Economic Development, CED at the Houbolt Road Extension ground-breaking ceremony – July 2021.

When CenterPoint took on the challenge of redeveloping the Joliet Arsenal as the CenterPoint Intermodal Center in 2000, our company leaders already had great relationships throughout Will County. They saw it as an ideal place to make this our focus in the Midwest. In the more than 20 years since, our ties to Will County have only grown stronger, our roots deeper, and our commitment to its people more steadfast.

The success story the CIC has become – and the success of the companies that call it home – is due in no small measure to partnerships like the one we’ve forged with the CED.

CenterPoint recently celebrated the groundbreaking for a major infrastructure project in Joliet, the Houbolt Road Extension. The State of Illinois, Will County and the City of Joliet, along with our partners in this project, United Bridge Partners, are working together to deliver a host of improvements to make area streets safer, the environment cleaner and truck routes more efficient in and around the CIC. It’s the culmination of more than a decade of planning with a multitude of people and organizations committed to improving Will County.

The CED team have been integral partners in our quest to positively impact the businesses we serve in our park and the people who live in the area. That project and others in the offing across the county are happening in no small part thanks to the CED’s tireless advocacy for infrastructure improvements.

The CED has been a critical resource to CenterPoint as we have cultivated the CIC, just as it is to the companies that employ thousands of people in it. The CED’s impact goes beyond the mission its name implies. The organization truly puts people and their success at the center of everything it does, which engenders an inherently positive environment for everyone in Will County.

CenterPoint is honored to have been a CED investor for more than 15 years, and we are pleased to be able to thank the people who have shown time and again their dedication to the companies and people of Will County. Happy 40th Anniversary to our friends at the Will County Center for Economic Development!

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Will County CED Reflect on 40 Years of Growth

Will County CED Reflect on 40 Years of Growth

In the news

Will County CED Reflect on 40 Years of Growth

By Rex Robinson

Project Lion Image - courtesy WJOL

The highlight of this year’s annual Will County Center for Economic Development’s Eye Opener meeting was discussion of the new Lion Electric plant coming to Joliet. Earlier this spring Joliet Mayor O’Dekirk, Congressman Bill Foster, Governor JB Pritzker, Nate Baguio, from Lion Electric, and other officials attended a press conference to announce the company’s decision to build the electric vehicle plant in Joliet. (Photo courtesy of the Will County CED)

From job creation to infrastructure projects and housing, Will County is on top of the heap in Illinois.

That’s the message leaders of the Will County Center for Economic Development had at their recent 2021 Eye Opener annual meeting, which was held virtually. Will County CED officials cancelled the meeting last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the big economic developments highlighted at this year’s event was the announcement by Lion Electric to build a manufacturing plant for electric vehicles in Joliet.

Lion is constructing a 906,000-square-foot all-electric vehicle manufacturing facility at 3835 Youngs Road. When completed, it will be the largest medium-duty electric vehicle production facility in North America, employing 1,400-plus people and with a capacity to produce more than 20,000 all-electric school buses and medium duty trucks a year.

Nate Baguio, vice president of sales for Lion Electric, said Lion selected Will County to build the new plant with “a lot of help from the CED.”

“At Lion, we move very quickly and we have to with what’s happening,” Baguio said. “There is a lot of demand for these vehicles.”

According to Baguio, it’s an exciting time for both Lion Electric and Will County and company officials are excited to partner with Will County as production at the new manufacturing plant in Joliet gets underway.

Officials kicked off the meeting this year by noting an important birthday for the organization.

“We are 40-years-old this year. That’s a very significant watermark,” Will County CED President and CEO John Greuling said at the start of the meeting.

The Will County CED provides everything from real estate information, economic data and research and market and labor force information to business incentives, project guidance, and infrastructure development.

“This is very critical for companies that don’t know much about Will County,” Greuling said.

Greuling has been with the CED since 1981 and recalled that unemployment was “skyrocketing” in the county that year and was at more than 26 percent in Joliet and 18 percent in Will County. Seven years later and unemployment plummeted to 5.4 percent and new housing construction began was on the rise.

Read the full article at: TheTimesWeekly.com

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CED Celebrates 40 Years Of Raising The Tide

CED Celebrates 40 Years Of Raising The Tide

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CED Celebrates 40 Years Of Raising The Tide

Herald-News
GUEST VIEW LYDIA GARVEY

Lydian Garvey - CED 40 years

This year marks the Will County Center for Economic Development’s 40th anniversary. I am proud to serve as board chair through this milestone year and to shine a light on the impact the organization has had on our community.

The CED was formed in 1981, when unemployment was at an all-time high in Joliet and Will County. Empty buildings cast shadows on what once was a bustling manufacturing hub, and times were tough for many in our community. A group of concerned business leaders rallied in response, contributing their funds to form a nonprofit that would cement the region’s future.

Today, the CED has a solid reputation for improving the quality of life for all residents in Will County by helping thousands of businesses thrive here, creating tens of thousands of jobs as a result. Nearly 200 CED investors from public and private entities fund the organization’s impact. My colleagues on the CED Board of Directors hail from more than 60 companies representing about 20 sectors of our regional economy, and all share the goal of raising the tide in Will County.

Partnerships between business, labor and government are at the root of the CED’s success. Forty years’ worth of impact is difficult to measure. The CED has been a catalyst for the county’s first comprehensive transportation blueprint and has championed key studies and plans for infrastructure that enable our economy to thrive, even in a pandemic.

The CED had a hand in other game changers for our local economy, including the development of Center- Point Intermodal and the formation of the Joliet Arsenal Development Authority to redevelop a superfund site that has become the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery for veterans, BNSF Logistics Park Chicago and Prairie View Landfill. Additionally, Will County has become the largest inland port in North America. In sharp contrast to the CED’s founding year, our residents enjoy strong transportation assets, plentiful work opportunities and access to award-winning health care and high-quality educational institutions.

CED President and CEO John Greuling speaks of economic development as a “legacy business”; the true impact of the work is far-reaching and long-term. As we celebrate 40 years, we reflect on the legacy sparked by those concerned business leaders from our early days while raising up investors who carry the torch through a new era. I am especially proud of how we continue building a bigger table to ensure that the voices around it represent the people within our county. • Lydia Garvey is vice president/general manager of Hollywood Casino and board chairwoman for the Will County Center for Economic DevelopmentPartnerships between business, labor and government are at the root of the CED’s success. Forty years’ worth of impact is difficult to measure.

The CED has been a catalyst for the county’s first comprehensive transportation blueprint and has championed key studies and plans for infrastructure that enable our economy to thrive, even in a pandemic. The CED had a hand in other game changers for our local economy, including the development of Center- Point Intermodal and the formation of the Joliet Arsenal Development Authority to redevelop a superfund site that has become the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery for veterans, BNSF Logistics Park Chicago and Prairie View Landfill. Additionally, Will County has become the largest inland port in North America. In sharp contrast to the CED’s founding year, our residents enjoy strong transportation assets, plentiful work opportunities and access to award-winning health care and high-quality educational institutions. CED President and CEO John Greuling speaks of economic development as a “legacy business”; the true impact of the work is far-reaching and long-term. As we celebrate 40 years, we reflect on the legacy sparked by those concerned business leaders from our early days while raising up investors who carry the torch through a new era. I am especially proud of how we continue building a bigger table to ensure that the voices around it represent the people within our county. •

Lydia Garvey is vice president/general manager of Hollywood Casino and board chair for the Will County Center for Economic Development

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Celebrating the CED’s 40th Birthday

Celebrating the CED’s 40th Birthday

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Celebrating the CED’s 40th Birthday

CED 40 Years logoIn 1981 the economy in Will County was flat on its back. The County’s unemployment rate was 18%; Joliet’s, 26.5%. Steel mills and other manufacturing plants closed. Caterpillar went from 7,000 employees to under 3,000. The decommissioning of the Joliet Arsenal resulted in the loss of over 8,000 jobs. Everywhere you looked, there were vacant commercial and industrial buildings. Will County’s future did not take sunglasses to look at – things were already quite dim.

But local business leaders refused to dwell on the past. The original CED, Greater Joliet, Inc., was formed in 1981, funded by local businesses. Five years later, the Joliet/Will County Center for Economic Development was created to serve all of Will County and its thirty-seven municipalities.

What has happened to the Will County economy since then is nothing short of amazing. While the CED has been the catalyst for helping thousands of companies expand and locate in the County creating tens of thousands of jobs, the public-private partnership between business, labor, and government has been the secret sauce to our success.

Consider some of the projects on which the CED has had its fingerprints in the past 40 years: The I-355 Extension/Veterans Memorial Highway, the development of two state of the art cargo facilities in the CenterPoint Intermodal Center, multiple studies on the impact of becoming the largest inland port in North America including the Will County Community Freight Mobility Plan, creation of the I-80 Coalition to accelerate the reconstruction and expansion of the I-80 Corridor from Minooka to New Lenox and securing state funding to pay for the project.

Add to that the formation of the Joliet Arsenal Development Authority to redevelop a superfund site into the 20,000-acre Midewin Tall Grass Prairie, the Abraham Lincoln National Veteran’s Cemetery, the BNSF’s Logistics Park Chicago and the Prairie View Land Fill.

The real story of the CED’s work is you, our Investors. Without your commitment of time and financial support over the years, our County and our communities would not have the assets necessary for residents to enjoy a high quality of life, good paying jobs, excellent schools, investments in infrastructure, balanced government budgets and some of the best recreational facilities in the region.

The true legacy of the CED is bringing together our partners in business, labor, government, health care, transportation, and other sectors to identify challenges, find solutions and take the actions to get it done.

Thank you for your continued support.

CEO John Greuling

John Greuling
President & CEO (2001-2021)

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