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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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

In the news

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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Annual Report to Investors

Annual Report to Investors

In the news

CED Annual Report to Investors 2021

The Annual Report to Investors will be held on Friday, December 3rd at the Bolingbrook Golf Club

7:30am registration & breakfast
8:00am – 9:15am Program

Presented by First Midwest Bank
Program Sponsors: Edward Jones, Comcast

Presented by First Midwest Bank

Event Sponsored by Comcast and Edward Jones

2021 Report to Investors Event Sponsors Comcast, Edward Jones and Nicor Gas

Program Sponsor by Midland Bank

Midland States Bank

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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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