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Eye Opener Breakfast Details Will County Successes & More!

Doug Pryor speaking to attendees of the 2023 Breakfast Eye Opener

Excited to see more than 240 guests last month at this annual midyear event.

CED Chair Ruth Colby welcomed guests representing investors, non-investors, elected officials, municipal staff, community organizations, and more to this midyear opportunity to gather and hear about successes and growth of Will County over the past year.

Ruth recognized the CED Board of Directors for their important leadership to help make the CED and Will County the best it can be.

Ruth warmly thanked the Investors of the CED underscoring that for more than 40 years, the CED has relied on these contributions and support to drive investment and opportunity to Will County.

Will County Executive, Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, offered opening remarks reminding those gathered how Will County offers a prime location and amenities for a wide range of industries.

The County Executive spoke of our strength and focus on the future specifically in the green industry. Will County has seen an increase in clean energy transportation businesses, and she discussed how Will County is well positioned for continued success in this industry.

Additionally, she spoke of Will County’s leadership role across Chicagoland, joining with six other counties and the City of Chicago for a first-of-its-kind partnership focused on economic development for the entire region. “This partnership will help diversify our economy and attract business from around the world to Will County.”

CED President & CEO, Doug Pryor, presented on important economic indicators, including labor force, jobs, job openings, unemployment and salaries including these highlights:

  • Will County employment hit a new all-time high in April 2023, up 67,000 from the Covid trough.
  • High job growth and modest workforce gains hold unemployment numbers very low – among the lowest ever recorded in Will County.
  • Manufacturing remains the largest sector of Will County’s economy, adding more than 1,000 jobs and $339 million in new wages in the past two years.
  • The Will County labor force continues to grow slowly from Covid lows, up only 4,000 from April 2019.
  • Like the rest of the nation, low unemployment continues to drive Will County wages higher, with wages for all industries up 17% since 2019.

Additionally, Doug reiterated how Will County has the tools to attract the economy of the future, major projects underway or recently completed, real estate and housing data as well as industrial and commercial development updates. The CED is undertaking some exciting programming with new community partnerships that will continue to demonstrate the mission to improve the quality of life for residents and businesses. Check out the “Will County Summer Internship Program” information below.

In the months ahead we will be sharing details and progress on these new partnerships such as the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership, Brownfield Assessment Grant, the Will County Internship Program Pilot and more.

Thank you to all our Eye Opener sponsors, Clayco, Prairie State College, “D” Construction, Ketone Partners, Silver Cross Hospital, Heartland Bank, and Cadence Premier Logistics!

Check out the great event photos here!

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