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Economic Upswing Underway in Will County

By Rex Robinon – The Times Weekly

developers at construction site

One sign of economic development in Will County is construction of the Illinois Department of Corrections Inpatient Treatment Center in Joliet, which will have a hospital facility in 2021.This 200-bed hospital will function as a therapeutic environment with round-the-clock care to meet the critical mental health needs of inmates in the region. The new facility will result in more than 400 jobs. The facility will serve as a national model for mental health treatment in corrections.

Like the winds of change blowing through with the arrival of spring, many are hopeful the local job market will quickly start to improve as more receive COVID vaccines and more businesses, especially restaurants, are able to ramp up productivity and hire more employees.

The most recent available unemployment figure for Will County of 8.3 percent is from February. However, local officials are confident that does not tell the tale of what’s happening now.

Unemployment levels in Will County have remained elevated since the start of the pandemic. It peaked at 17.4 percent in April of 2020, then fell to as low as 6.2 percent in November.

“Will County experiences a seasonal peak during the first quarter of each year as construction work slows in the cold weather,” said Doug Pryor, vice president of economic development for the Will County Center for Economic Development. “We expect a strong bounce back in the spring.”


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