2023 – Exciting Year For Will County

2023 – Exciting Year For Will County

In the news

2023 – Exciting Year For Will County

Doug Pryor talking in front of graph for the 2023 Annual report to investors

Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant greeted guests last month at the CED’s Annual Report to Investors breakfast exclaiming “This has been an exciting year for Will County. We remain a state and national economic leader and have grown into a hub of industry, manufacturing, and transportation.”

She shared how she is often asked by other state leaders why economic development is so strong in Will County. “We have amazing innovators and business leaders, along with a strong bench of elected leaders at the local, state, and federal level who know how to get things done.”

2024 CED Chair Arvid Johnson warmly welcomed members of the CED Board of Directors and thanked them for their time, guidance, and leadership in making Will County the best it can be. Dr. Johnson acknowledged the passing of dear friend to many, Ruth Colby, who served as the Chair of the CED for the past two years and has been an extraordinary community leader during her time at Silver Cross Hospital. “She will be missed by all of us who were graced by her presence.”

Dr. Johnson went on to thank all CED Investors in attendance and those who could not attend affirming “You make the successes of Will County possible. Thank you for your generous support and we look forward to 2024 and beyond.”

Doug Pryor, CED President & CEO addressed the gathered crowd of more than 335 in attendance and thanked and acknowledged what an extraordinary group of leaders were in the room. Pryor recognizing our Annual Report sponsors including Presenting Sponsor Governors State University. Doug gratefully acknowledged the support of elected officials throughout the county and identified them individually in the room.

Pryor continued to present 2023 regional economic development.

Highlights included:

  • Will County as the #1 job creator in Illinois (2019-2023) adding 12,000 jobs.
  • Will County as the #1 single family housing builder in Illinois including Plainfield ranked #1.
  • Will County #1 in Illinois in terms of industrial development.
  • Manufacturing is the #1 industry in Will County with $6 billion in output and $1.8 billion in wages.
  • The strength of Will County manufacturers was featured including Diageo, Hengli, DuPont, Provisur, G&W Electric and Hyzon.

Pryor highlighted 2023 Will County infrastructure projects completed and new projects underway including the I-80 Will rebuild, Houbolt Road Extension bridge and Houbolt Road Diverging Diamond at I-80. Lastly, he shared new CED initiatives including an EPA Brownfield grant and the Summer 2024 Will County Summer Internship Program.

View the CED 2023 Annual Report to Investors Presentation

View the CED 2023 Annual Report

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CED After 3 Events Return for 2024

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2023 – Exciting Year For Will County

2023 – Exciting Year For Will County

Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant greeted guests last month at the CED’s Annual Report to Investors breakfast exclaiming “This has been an exciting year for Will County. We remain a state and national economic leader and have grown into a hub of industry, manufacturing, and transportation.”

read more

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

Thank you to Governors State University

Brownfields Assessment Grant Community Outreach Begins

Brownfields Assessment Grant Community Outreach Begins

In the news

Brownfields Assessment Grant Community Outreach Begins

The Will County Center for Economic Development (CED) will be hosting public meetings on Tuesday, November 14th in Joliet and Lockport to share information and invite community participation in the Will County Brownfields Program.

The CED was awarded a USEPA Brownfields Assessment Grant in the amount of $400,000 to assist with identification and clean-up of brownfield sites 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 of productive uses.

The grant provides funding to identify sites and conduct a range of planning activities, develop site specific clean-up plans, and complete Phase I and Phase II environmental engineering for qualified sites, with a special emphasis on the Des Plaines River corridor in Will County. The Lockport meeting will take place at City Hall at 9 a.m. and the Joliet meeting will be held at the Joliet Public Library Ottawa Street Branch at 4 p.m.

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.

Beginning in November, we will begin working with residents living in the target areas during community meetings to create a thorough site inventory for assessment. Properties identified during community outreach activities will be researched further to evaluate their qualifications for inclusion in the determination of eligibility.

Community engagement is crucial to the success of this Assessment Grant. Therefore, community meetings are being planned to keep the public informed on project plans and provide project updates. Interested property owners and residents can receive more information, suggest potential sites, and ask questions.

Additional grant and meeting information can be found at www.willcountybrownfields.com. Registration is preferred, but not required.

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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

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

2023 – Exciting Year For Will County

2023 – Exciting Year For Will County

Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant greeted guests last month at the CED’s Annual Report to Investors breakfast exclaiming “This has been an exciting year for Will County. We remain a state and national economic leader and have grown into a hub of industry, manufacturing, and transportation.”

read more

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

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Polluted Joliet-area sites targeted for cleanup

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Greater Chicagoland Region Named Top Metropolitan Area for Corporate Site Selection and Relocation

Greater Chicagoland Region Named Top Metropolitan Area for Corporate Site Selection and Relocation

In the news

Greater Chicagoland Region Named Top Metropolitan Area for Corporate Site Selection and Relocation

County Executive Bertino-Tarrant highlights regional economic assets at awards ceremony

County Executive Bertino-Tarrant highlights regional economic assets at awards ceremony

The Greater Chicagoland Region was named top metropolitan area for corporate site selection and relocation for the 10th consecutive year. County Executive Bertino-Tarrant celebrated the announcement with World Business Chicago at an awards ceremony recognizing companies who have grown or relocated in the Chicagoland Region.

The announcement follows the recent formation of the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership, a collaboration among the seven counties of northeastern Illinois (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Will) and the City of Chicago. The partnership is aimed at driving economic growth across the entire region.

“This partnership is a game-changer for our region,” said Bertino-Tarrant. “In a highly competitive market, we will be able to attract a wide range of industries to Will County. By working together with our neighboring communities, we can offer a unique mix of urban and rural sites, diverse talent, affordability, quality of life, and connectivity that will set us apart nationally.”

Photo of group award recipients Greater Chicagoland Region Named Top Metropolitan Area for Corporate Site Selection and Relocation

Will County has long been an anchor for economic development in the region. According to the Will County Center for Economic Development (CED), the county has led the state in growth with 7.8 million square feet of new building deliveries in 2022. Additionally, industrial, office, and retail vacancies are at historic lows across the county. Will County was also the top single family home market in Illinois for the fourth year in a row last year.

“Our combination of a tremendous workforce, multi-modal transportation infrastructure, educational institutions, and business-friendly leadership creates a strong, competitive environment that is attractive to business and investment,” said CED President & CEO Doug Pryor. “The Chicagoland area is a globally competitive region that is a force in site selection and business attraction. I am proud of the work we are doing both locally and as a region to grow and advance our economy and quality of life.”

Photo of County Executive Bertino-Tarrant and Doug Pryor with award at the Pro-Chicaglond Decisions 2022

The awards ceremony recognized several companies for their local investments. Joliet-based Lion Electric received the inaugural Pro-Chicagoland Decision Award for choosing to base their business in the region.

“We are proud to honor these outstanding companies for their contributions to Chicago’s thriving economy and job creation,” said Michael Fassnacht, President and CEO of World Business Chicago and Chief Marketing Officer for the City of Chicago. “Their commitment to driving sustainable and inclusive economic growth throughout the greater Chicagoland region is a testament to their leadership and dedication to the city and its people. We look forward to continuing to work together to build a more prosperous and equitable future for all Chicagoans.”

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CED After 3 Events Return for 2024

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Harbour Contractors, Inc. in Plainfield hosts Year’s First Event! The first event of the year held on February 21 was a great success with over 55 investors of the Will County CED attending. Harbour Contractors, Inc.

read more
2023 – Exciting Year For Will County

2023 – Exciting Year For Will County

Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant greeted guests last month at the CED’s Annual Report to Investors breakfast exclaiming “This has been an exciting year for Will County. We remain a state and national economic leader and have grown into a hub of industry, manufacturing, and transportation.”

read more