Will County Elected Officials Incentives Training Packed with Information

Will County Elected Officials Incentives Training Packed with Information

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Will County Elected Officials Incentives Training Packed with Information

Village of Frankfort and Doug Pryor 2022

This new program was inspired by popular demand from participants at our Annual Elected Officials Economic Development 101 Boot Camp. On February 22nd thirty-five participants representing 18 Will County units of government attended and received a comprehensive look at incentives and programs available through our economic development partners who provided critical information necessary to driving projects forward in Will County.

Partners presenting included ComEd, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Office of Minority Economic Empowerment, Joliet City Center Partnership, Illinois Enterprise Zone Association and our morning’s sponsor, CED Sustaining Investor, NICOR Gas.

Thank you to the Village of Frankfort, Mayor Keith Ogle and Village staff for providing an excellent location for this training and networking opportunity.

Sponsored By:

Nicor Gas logo

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Doug Pryor was Invited by the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry to speak to their Leadership School participants in a panel discussion along with Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant and City of Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk.

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Longtime CED Leader John Greuling Honored

Longtime CED Leader John Greuling Honored

In the news

Longtime CED Leader John Greuling Honored

At the February Board of Directors meeting, longtime President & CEO of the CED, John Greuling was awarded the Frank Turk Business and Community Achievement Award.

The award is given in honor of Frank Turk, Jr., life-long resident and businessman of Joliet, co-founder and President of the Will County Center for Economic Development from 1982-1984. The award recognizes individuals, who through their commitment to community service and business excellence have improved the lives of Will County residents.

Congratulations to John on his 20 years of inspirational leadership, business excellence and commitment to community service!

“John has been part of the economic revolution of Will County.”

Robert Filotto

CED Board Member

John Greuling to Retire, Doug Pryor named President and CEO of Will County Center for Economic Development

John Greuling to Retire, Doug Pryor named President and CEO of Will County Center for Economic Development

In the news

John Greuling to Retire, Doug Pryor named President and CEO of Will County Center for Economic Development

After 20 years of inspirational leadership as the President and CEO of the Will County Center for Economic Development, John Greuling has announced his retirement, effective March 6, 2022.

John Greuling

John Greuling

John’s legacy and the impact he has had on Will County is unparalleled. When he arrived in 2001, he immediately saw the potential for business development and our community greatly benefitted from his vision, his ability to forge personal relationships, and his “can do” approach to driving decisions and implementing action plans. He is unique in his ability to bring diverse viewpoints to the table and develop partnerships across the public and private sectors.

John’s leadership helped drive game-changing infrastructure improvements in Will County. During his tenure, the I-355 extension to I-80 opened, which further connected Will County to the Chicago Metro area and has been the gateway for development. He spearheaded the creation of the I-80 Coalition, which brought together public and private sector stakeholders, working together to accelerate the completion of the I-80 rebuild project. The I-80 project is now underway and is the signature project of Governor Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois plan with completion is expected by 2027.

Greuling was also key in the creation of the award-winning Will County Community Friendly Freight Plan, which helped identify Will County’s role in the national economy and provided a holistic approach to freight mobility, land use, workforce development, education, and community livability.

Job creation has been a hallmark of John’s tenure. During his time at the CED, Will County was far and away the top job creating county in Illinois, adding more than 90,000 jobs in a diverse set of industries. Amazon alone brought over 10,000 well-paying jobs with benefits for residents during John’s time with the CED. Most recently, John was at the helm during the recruitment of Lion Electric Company to Joliet which is bringing manufacturing of electric vehicles to the region, again creating many new jobs.

John’s vision for the County also brought awareness for infrastructure needs, housing, and recreation – all focused on making Will County a wonderful place to live, work and play. There are not enough words of gratitude for John’s accomplishments, the relationships he developed in support of our community and particularly his communication with and inclusion of all stakeholders.

Knowing that John’s retirement would occur in 2022, the CED’s Governance Committee convened a Search Committee in October 2021. Members of the Search Committee were Bob Filotto, David Livingston, Rod Tonelli, Lydia Garvey, Arvid Johnson, George Mahoney, County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Nick Palmer (representing County Board Speaker Mimi Cowan) and Ruth Colby. Doug Pryor was considered as a candidate for the President/CEO role of the CED. Doug presented his vision for the organization which had a strong focus on growth, development, relationships, and collaboration. Subsequently, the Search Committee unanimously voted to offer Doug the position of President and CEO of the Will County Center for Economic Development effective March 7, 2022.

Doug-Pryor-2021

Doug Pryor

Pryor joined the CED in 2017 as the Vice President for Economic Development and has led the CED’s business recruitment and retention programs for five years. In his time at the CED, Doug has helped deliver projects totaling more than $4 billion in investment in a wide range of industries including energy, corporate headquarters, electric vehicle manufacturing, and retail.

“This is an exciting and humbling opportunity. I am eager to advance the work of building and diversifying the economy of Will County to improve opportunity and quality of life for all our residents,” Pryor said. “Will County is a powerful economic engine for Illinois. Our incredible workforce, educational institutions, and positive business climate in the setting of some of the best transportation assets in the nation help ensure that we will continue to be a world-class destination for business growth for years to come.“

Doug has also been an Adjunct Instructor of Economics and Statistics at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois for the past ten years and currently serves on the State of Illinois Enterprise Zone Board. Previously he was the County Administrator for Grundy County and Vice President of Grundy Economic Development Council. He is a proud alum of Joliet Junior College, graduate of the University of Illinois with a bachelor’s degree in economics and holds an MBA from Dominican University. Doug is a native of Joliet and resides in New Lenox with his wife, Jennifer, and their two children.

 

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Ruth Colby announced as the CED’s 2022 Board Chair

Ruth Colby announced as the CED’s 2022 Board Chair

In the news

Ruth Colby, President and Chief Executive Officer of Silver Cross Hospital has been announced as the CED’s 2022 Board Chair

Ruth Colby announced as the CED’s 2022 Board Chair

After joining Silver Cross Hospital in 2005, Ruth had the responsibility of working with the Board of Directors to set the organization’s vision and direction as well as oversight for marketing, planning, strategy, government relations, physician relations, and recruitment, employed practices, managed care and select operational areas.

We look forward to the leadership Ruth will provide as the CED moves through its 41st year moving Will County forward.

Silver Cross Hospital has been a Sustaining Investor of the CED for more than 30 years illustrating their deep commitment to a vibrant regional economy.

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CEO Speaks to Future Leaders

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Doug Pryor was Invited by the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry to speak to their Leadership School participants in a panel discussion along with Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant and City of Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk.

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Will County sees near-record job growth in 2021

Will County sees near-record job growth in 2021

In the news

Report: Will County Sees Near-Record Job Growth In 2021

Center for Economic Development head says county’s economy remained resilient through COVID-19 pandemic

By Alex Ortiz | Shaw Media
December 11, 2021 at 5:15 am CST

Job growth in Will County is approaching all-time highs through the end of 2021, according to a recent report.

John Greuling, the president and CEO of the Will County Center for Economic Development, delivered an annual report last week recapping the state of the county’s economy.

Construction Will County Illinois

Will County saw job growth at near all-time high rates, according to an annual report from the county’s Center for Economic Development. (Geoff Stellfox – gstellfox@shawmedia.com/Geoff Stellfox – gstellfox@shawmedia.com)

Will County added more than 5,600 jobs this year. About 1,200 new single-family homes were added, which leads the state. More than 90% of industrial, retail and office property in the county is occupied, rates which are also near all-time highs.

Greuling said the positive data points show the “resiliency” of Will County’s economy.

He attributed that largely to the types of industries that have grown in the county, specifically distribution, logistics, health care, and energy. He pointed out these essential sectors were not as impacted as others by the measures taken to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“All of them have done well over the last 18 months,” he said in an interview.

Read the full article at ShawMedia.com

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Supply Chain Crisis Hits Home

Supply Chain Crisis Hits Home

In the news

Supply Chain Crisis Hits Home

Truck driver shortage opens door for local high paying jobs

By Rex Robinson | 11/4/2021
TheTimesWeekly.com

Joliet has one of the largest inland ports in the nation. Center Point Intermodal Center (CIC) – Joliet/Elwood is the largest master-planned inland port in North America.

Shipping containers stacked at Port of Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo by Dreamstime)

Getting goods and services to consumers both nationally and locally is topping the news cycle right now and for good reason as the country is experiencing a serious supply problem.

The national supply problem is hitting home with shortages experienced in the Joliet area.

The dilemma is having an impact locally. Things like the Thanksgiving Turkey, computer game systems, toys and other gifts for the holiday are still sitting, idling in ports on both coast waiting to be placed in shipping containers and transported by rail and truck to nearby intermodal warehouses.

Images of shipping containers piling up at seaports in places like California and Florida have many on edge wondering how long it will be before those containers start moving out on to the roads via trucks or onto rail cars and making their way to their expected destinations.

There are also concerns about shortages at stores for myriad products that everyone needs and uses in their daily lives. Some even say we could soon face food shortages.

The COVID pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives, and this is just another one to add to the list.

The White House has been talking about the supply chain problem for a while now. In July, Susan Helper and Evan Soltas penned a piece for the White House titled “Why the Pandemic Has Disrupted Supply Chains.

Businesses, they reported at the time, had added jobs at a rate of 540,000 per month since January. “Many consumers are making large purchases with savings accumulated during the pandemic,” they said.

“While a fast pivot to growth is good news for businesses and workers, it also creates challenges. Entire industries that shrank dramatically during the pandemic, such as the hotel and restaurant sectors, are now trying to reopen. Some businesses report that they have been unable to hire quickly enough to keep pace with their rising need for workers, leading to an all-time record 8.3 million job openings in April. Others do not have enough of their products in inventory to avoid running out of stock. The situation has been especially difficult for businesses with complex supply chains, as their production is vulnerable to disruption due to shortages of inputs from other businesses.

John Greuling, President & CEO of the Will County Center for Economic Development, said, “We still have a shortage of more than 80,000 truck driver jobs nationwide, but that’s been a continuous problem. There’s a high demand for goods. The demand for goods has outstripped expectations and thus we have a supply shortage.”

Nauteia Brass, who sits on the board of directors of the Illinois State Black Chamber of Commerce and is President of the Joliet-based Insure It, said the pandemic caused many manufacturers to halt production in 2020. “However, factories are still struggling to get back on track. As a result of this, the demand for products outweighs the supply,” she said. “There is also an issue of increased cost to move cargo. This is attributed largely to the scarcity of shipping containers that were used to send protective gear to various places around the world,” she said.

Brass added there are many Black workers employed at warehouses in the Will County area and her concern is that workers may face layoffs due to the current shortage of supply and a December 8th vaccine mandate for contractors that do business with the federal government. “This vaccine mandate could further weaken the supply chain,” she added.

The current supply chain crisis may have an upside for unemployed Black workers. The urgent need for long haul truckers is opening opportunities for those 18 years and older to be trained on the fast track to become highly paid long haul drivers.

“With the growing demand for workers in transportation logistics, now is the opportune time for those seeking to make a career shift from warehouse worker to the trucking industry. The trucking industry is a profitable industry, and I would encourage those that are interested in starting a business in the trucking industry to contact the Illinois State Black Chamber of Commerce to find out what resources and contracting opportunities are available to them,” said Brass.

Amazon and Walmart are now out hiring 150,000 workers to handle the holidays, Greuling said.

“The shortage of workers has impacted our supply chain and it’s hurt our local distribution centers.”

“We still have more job openings than we have workers to fill those jobs,” Greuling said.

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