Regional Partnership for Economic Development Announced

Regional Partnership for Economic Development Announced

In the news

Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership

Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership

The new Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership was announced this week and includes the City of Chicago, Cook County and six counties across the northeastern Illinois region including Will County.

This exciting new partnership will serve as a driving force of business on a regional level focused on promoting the many assets, including extensive freight infrastructure, diverse talent, strong export industries, and world-class institutions of innovation, research, and culture to develop a competitive global identity. Work began more than two years ago convening the institutions and partners necessary to develop recommendations and consensus on the Partnerships principles and expectations.

Our President & CEO, Doug Pryor is honored to be a board member and is proud to have been invited to participate in the development over the last two years creating this new and exciting regional partnership on behalf of the Will County Center for Economic Development and Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

“As our local economy continues to grow and adapt to a changing environment, the importance of a regional partnership has never been clearer. We will be able to achieve more by working together. I look forward to working with my county colleagues throughout the Chicagoland region to develop a comprehensive economic development strategy.”

–  Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant

Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership – CMAP (illinois.gov)

Read the full story.

Will County Joins First-Ever Regional Partnership for Economic Development – Will County News

Will County Executive Press Release

Annual Report Speaks To Will County

Annual Report Speaks To Will County

In the news

Annual Report Speaks To Will County

SUCCESSES, COMMITMENTS AND PARTNERSHIPS

CED, CEO Doug Pryor speaks at 2023 Annual Report Presentation

Ruth Colby, CED Board Chair, welcomed more than 250 guests and thanked members of the CED Board for their time, guidance, and leadership in making the CED and Will County the best it can be. She reflected on the CED’s forty-one years of success.

In 2022 forty-three investor organizations marked 30 years or more of investment in the CED, which was commemorated through presentations of Certificates of Appreciation recognizing their commitment to community and their partnership with the Will County Center for Economic Development.

County Executive, Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant offered comments highlighting the many groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings that occurred in 2022 throughout the county. The Executive also pointed to opportunities for small businesses and non-profits to apply for ARPA funding targeted towards mitigating existing hardships from the pandemic. Finally, she invited employers to explore the services of the Will County Workforce Services Division to help fill job vacancies and upskilling opportunities and training.

Congressman Bill Foster (D-11) gave remarks and highlighted significant legislation recently passed including the American Rescue Plan Act, the Inflation Reduction Act and the Infrastructure and Jobs Act.

“These historic investments may have been passed in the last two years of Congress, but these investments will be playing out over the next decades to the benefit of Will County and businesses around the country.”

Two factors that seemed to matter most when convincing Lion Electric to locate in the southwest suburbs, Foster said.

“Part of the pitch we made was that in this area we have a highly skilled workforce ready to go and we have a second-to-none transportation infrastructure,” Foster said.

Doug Pryor, President & CEO was the featured speaker providing an economic overview illustrating where Will County conditions are compared with the region and State.

Highlights included Will County’s strength in:

  • job growth
  • manufacturing
  • energy production
  • leading the state in single family home building permits 4 years straight!

Pryor highlighted Will County infrastructure projects including those most recently completed: I-55 at Weber Road and Route 30 at I-80. He shared that the Houbolt Road Extension bridge project is near completion and lastly provided an update on the rebuild of I-80 from Minooka to New Lenox to include new Des Plaines River bridges.

Guests heard about the many companies investing and reinvesting in Will County this year, which includes Lion Electric, who recently produced its first, all electric, “Made in America”, school bus at its City of Joliet manufacturing facility. This is an important milestone for one of the most important projects in our region. Vehicles are now being produced right here in Will County, and they are the future of transportation.

View the CED 2022 Annual Report to Investors Presentation

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

Annual Report Sponsors

2022 Annual Report Presentation

2022 ANNUAL REPORT TO INVESTORS

2022 marked another year of success for Will County leading the region in development and job creation. Although not without its challenges, 2022 has been a time for change, for growth and has been filled with countless achievements.

Learn more and view a video slideshow of the event

CED Infrastructure Coalition Hears the Latest News

CED Infrastructure Coalition Hears the Latest News

In the news

CED Infrastructure Coalition Hears the Latest News

The CED’s Infrastructure Coalition met recently for a mid-year update on State and regional transportation projects, studies, and plans.

This important CED Coalition’s mission and charge is making sure Will County is meeting the infrastructure needs of our businesses and residents.

Coalition membership is limited to CED investors who have expressed an interest or have served on prior CED transportation committees. The Infrastructure Coalition is co-chaired by Zach Pucel of TranSystems and Eric Pitcher of BNSF Railway.

John Baczek, IDOT, Engineer of Program Development provided an update on 7 District 1 projects including I-80, Houbolt Road Corridor, I-55 & 126/Airport Road, I-55/I-59 Interchange, US 52 River to Houbolt, I-55/Lorenzo Road & I-55/IL 129 and the I-57 corridor.

Ann Schneider, President, Ann L. Schneider and Associates, provided an update on Will County transportation plans including the Will County Joliet Intermodal Transportation Master Plan, Moving Will County, and other current and planned studies.

Doug Pryor, CED President & CEO provided a draft of the updated Will County Transportation Blueprint to the group for review and discussion. This important document identifies priority projects for the repair, replacement, and construction of new and expanded roads, bridges, rail and transit services, aviation facilities and inland waterway facilities.

Doug also indicated that sub-groups of the Coalition will be meeting in the next few months to discuss and assess challenges and opportunities in the areas of non-transportation infrastructure needs including energy, telecommunications, and water supply and look to support policies, projects, and initiatives to meet the needs of current and future Will County businesses and industries.

More information on these important subjects can be found here:

IDOT REGION 1

IDOT Region 1 (illinois.gov)
Featured Projects (illinois.gov)

WILL COUNTY TRANSPORTATION

Will County Community Friendly Freight Mobility Plan (willcountyfreight.org)
Division of Transportation (willcountyillinois.com)
Master Plan (willcountyillinois.com)

More In The News

Annual Report Speaks To Will County

Annual Report Speaks To Will County

Ruth Colby, CED Board Chair, welcomed more than 250 guests and thanked members of the CED Board for their time, guidance, and leadership in making the CED and Will County the best it can be. She reflected on the CED’s forty-one years of success. In 2022 forty-three investor organizations marked 30 years or more of investment in the CED, which was commemorated through presentations of Certificates of Appreciation recognizing their commitment to community and their partnership with the Will County Center for Economic Development.

read more
CED Infrastructure Coalition Hears the Latest News

CED Infrastructure Coalition Hears the Latest News

The CED’s Infrastructure Coalition met recently for a mid-year update on State and regional transportation projects, studies, and plans. This important CED Coalition’s mission and charge is making sure Will County is meeting the infrastructure needs of our businesses and residents.

read more

2022 Infrastructure Coalition Photo Gallery

CED Hosts Eye Opener Breakfast

CED Hosts Eye Opener Breakfast

In the news

CED Hosts Eye Opener Breakfast

The successes and growth of Will County over the past year

For the first time since 2019 board members, investors, partners and supporters of the Will County Center for Economic Development came together to network and hear about the successes and growth of Will County over the past year.

The CED’s Board Chair, Ruth Colby, enthusiastically welcomed the 200 in attendance emphasizing the excitement in the room to gather again in person.

Additionally, Ruth applauded the CED Board of Directors, a group of incredible community leaders who provide their time, guidance, and leadership to help make the CED and Will County the best it can be. She went on to extend gratitude to all CED Investors in attendance, who help drive investment and opportunity to Will County every day.

Will County Executive, Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant spoke about the hard work of the CED and Board in attracting new business. She said she has been to a lot of ribbon cuttings throughout the county lately!

CEO Doug Pryor speaking at 2022 Eye Opener Breakfast

Doug Pryor speaking at the 2022 Eye Opener Breakfast

Doug Pryor, President & CEO was the featured speaker and shared some eye opening successes and growth of Will County over the past year, which included good news about our population gains, low unemployment and single-family housing leadership. Other Will County facts and updates:

  • Leading the state in job creation – 47,802 since 2011
  • Retail occupancy at an all-time high – 96%
  • $11.5 billion in retail sales – 33% increase from previous high
  • #1 in Illinois in industrial development
  • Office occupancy – 94%
  • Home prices hit new record in 2022 – $306,000
  • Update on major transportation projects
  • CED Programs and Events

A look ahead……

View the 2022 Eye Opener Presentation

Our Sincere Thanks to
Presenting Sponsor
First Midwest Bank

First Midwest Bank - A Division of Old National Bank

And Event sponsors
Cadence Premier Logistics
Heartland Bank & Trust

Cadence and Heartland Bank

More In The News

Annual Report Speaks To Will County

Annual Report Speaks To Will County

Ruth Colby, CED Board Chair, welcomed more than 250 guests and thanked members of the CED Board for their time, guidance, and leadership in making the CED and Will County the best it can be. She reflected on the CED’s forty-one years of success. In 2022 forty-three investor organizations marked 30 years or more of investment in the CED, which was commemorated through presentations of Certificates of Appreciation recognizing their commitment to community and their partnership with the Will County Center for Economic Development.

read more
CED Infrastructure Coalition Hears the Latest News

CED Infrastructure Coalition Hears the Latest News

The CED’s Infrastructure Coalition met recently for a mid-year update on State and regional transportation projects, studies, and plans. This important CED Coalition’s mission and charge is making sure Will County is meeting the infrastructure needs of our businesses and residents.

read more

Harbor Freight Celebrates New Distribution Center in Joliet, Will County

Harbor Freight Celebrates New Distribution Center in Joliet, Will County

In the news

Harbor Freight Celebrates New Distribution Center in Joliet, Will County

Harbor Freight Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Harbor Freight Tools opened its new 1.6 million square foot distribution center located at 3401 Brandon Road in the CenterPoint Intermodal Center with a celebratory ribbon cutting ceremony that included Harbor officials, Will County Executive, Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk, officials from Joliet Township High School District, Will County CED President, Doug Pryor, and many guests. This new center will allow the retailer to efficiently deliver products to more than 300 stores in 16 states in the Midwest.

In recognition of the importance of public high school trades education for the country’s future, and the career pathways being developed in the Joliet community, the Harbor Freight Tools Foundation, LLC provided a $100,000 grant to the Joliet Township High School District #204. In addition, the company itself is donating $10,000 in gift cards to help update and furnish trades classroom spaces at two local high schools, Joliet Central High School and Joliet West High School, plus a Full Bank Tool Cart in the schools’ colors.

Harbor Freight Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for new distribution center in Joliet, Will County

A company spokesman expressed thanks to its Joliet partners, including local contractors and crews who built the new facility. The new distribution center will reduce the company’s carbon footprint by eliminating the need to transport products to the region from either coast. The state-of-the-art center contains the latest in technology, including automatic storage and retrieval and robotic operations. Hiring is underway with approximately 800 jobs with competitive wages and benefits offered.

The CED’s Doug Pryor shared that work on this project began locally with our first call in August 2017.

“Sometimes good projects can take a long time.”

One thing that stood out for Doug was the extraordinary time that Harbor’s senior leadership spent planning for this project and how it would bring benefit to the community and to their customers.

“Companies like Harbor, committed to being strong employers and advocates for your business, help raise the economy of the region and make sure that Will County remains a location of choice for residents and businesses now and in the future.“

More In The News

Annual Report Speaks To Will County

Annual Report Speaks To Will County

Ruth Colby, CED Board Chair, welcomed more than 250 guests and thanked members of the CED Board for their time, guidance, and leadership in making the CED and Will County the best it can be. She reflected on the CED’s forty-one years of success. In 2022 forty-three investor organizations marked 30 years or more of investment in the CED, which was commemorated through presentations of Certificates of Appreciation recognizing their commitment to community and their partnership with the Will County Center for Economic Development.

read more

Celebrating Jim Roolf’s Decades of Leadership

Celebrating Jim Roolf’s Decades of Leadership

In the news

Celebrating Jim Roolf’s Decades of Leadership

Jim Roolf, a longtime member of the CED Board of Directors, past Chairman, and Frank Turk Jr. Award recipient, attended his final meeting as a regular member of the Board in May.

Ruth Colby-2022 CED Board Chair, Jim Roolf, Doug Pryor-CED President & CEO

Pictured: Ruth Colby-2022 CED Board Chair, Jim Roolf, Doug Pryor-CED President & CEO

Jim has represented First Midwest Bank (soon to be Old National Bank) for more than 20 years with the CED. With a clear vision of the economic development possibilities for Will County, Jim worked on or chaired many important committees, coalitions, and councils that helped move Will County forward. Among his many accomplishments Jim served on the Illinois Tollway Board at a critical time and helped lead the development of the long-promised I-355 extension, one of many important Will County projects for which Jim has been an essential catalyst.

Jim Roolf Speaking at Opening

Jim Roolf Speaking at Opening

Jim has been a fierce advocate for Will County and we are excited that he will continue to work with the CED through committees and working groups offering his experience, knowledge, and humor. Thank you, Jim, for being a strong leader and for all of your work to help the CED and Will County be more successful!

More In The News

Annual Report Speaks To Will County

Annual Report Speaks To Will County

Ruth Colby, CED Board Chair, welcomed more than 250 guests and thanked members of the CED Board for their time, guidance, and leadership in making the CED and Will County the best it can be. She reflected on the CED’s forty-one years of success. In 2022 forty-three investor organizations marked 30 years or more of investment in the CED, which was commemorated through presentations of Certificates of Appreciation recognizing their commitment to community and their partnership with the Will County Center for Economic Development.

read more
CED Infrastructure Coalition Hears the Latest News

CED Infrastructure Coalition Hears the Latest News

The CED’s Infrastructure Coalition met recently for a mid-year update on State and regional transportation projects, studies, and plans. This important CED Coalition’s mission and charge is making sure Will County is meeting the infrastructure needs of our businesses and residents.

read more