April 12, 2024

GPEDC Weekend Update- April 12, 2024

Here are some updates to end your week. 

Eclipse: Team GP has its standing staff meeting every Monday at 2 pm. Usually a pretty routine event, but since it coincided with a pretty rare and amazing celestial event, we had part of our staff meeting outside (it didn’t hurt that the weather was amazing). The solar eclipse hype might have been a bit over the top, but it is still nice to know there are things that rally people together. It was fun to see the coverage of groups gathering to share something together. So, at least for a few minutes, we were the Greater Peoria Astronomic Development Council. Hope you enjoyed your eclipse. Here is to getting together again in 2044.

Precision Planting: A bit more down to earth, Dorsey and I got to visit Precision Planting’s new operation center in Morton. The facility is just as big on the inside as you would imagine from its gigantic presence, as seen from the intersection of I-74 and I-155. The 550,000-square-foot facility employs about 250 people who receive parts from suppliers, do final assembly of products, perform quality control, and prepare shipping to customers all over the world. The development allowed Precision Planting to consolidate eight different facilities (five storage and three operations) that spanned Greater Peoria from North Pekin to Edelstein into one highly automated center of excellence. And they have room to grow and can double the size of their operation in just a few years. Precision Planting’s decision to invest in its Morton facility was a big win for Greater Peoria.

Komatsu is Cool: Congratulations to Greater Peoria’s own Komatsu for being named the Coolest Thing Made in Illinois. This annual contest hosted by the Illinois Manufacturers Association (IMA) and sponsored by Comcast isn’t just about popularity. It helps shine a light on how important manufacturing is to Illinois AND how important Illinois is to the world. Hardly any giant mining trucks made on NE Adams Street will ever be put to work in the US or North America. Pretty amazing to think about the global reach of Greater Peoria. And we can almost consider ourselves a two-time, or even three-time, winner. The inaugural Coolest Thing was Caterpillar’s 797F Mining Truck. Not made here, but most definitely designed here. Two years later, Rivian’s R1T took home the crown. Again, not made here, but hundreds of Greater Peoria’s make the trek east every day to work in the Rivian factory. I guess we are pretty cool, too. Congrats to Komatsu! 

Upcoming Events: Seems like there are always opportunities to learn more 

  • The Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) and Baker Tilly are hosting a webinar on how the federal Inflation Reduction Act and Illinois Clean Energy & Jobs Act provide opportunities for manufacturers on April 16 at 11:30 am. You can register for free here.
  • The aforementioned IMA and IMEC are teaming up to host the Illinois Electric Vehicle Industry Day in Rosemont on April 25 from 8 am – 5 pm. This event is designed to bring together premier manufacturers and industry experts in the rapidly evolving Electric Vehicle supply chain. The event is free. More information and registration here.
  • Those interested in doing business with the defense industry are welcome to attend the 15th Annual Government Contracting Symposium, hosted by the National Defense Industrial Association on May 21-22 in Moline. Register here.

Economic Development Forum: Tickets are still available for our first ever Economic Development Forum, featuring Jay Garner, author of Economic Development is STILL Not for Amateurs. Thanks to a generous sponsorship by Ameren Illinois, every attendee will walk away with a copy of Jay’s book. The event is on April 24 from 8 am – 10:30 am at the Gateway Building. Tickets are just $25 for non-investors. Click here for more information, or drop me a note.

Have a great weekend.