January 12, 2024

GPEDC Weekend Update- January 12, 2024

Guess what? It’s winter! Sort of forgot what snow looked like, but this week was a reminder (at least for those of us on the west side of the river). A few Greater Peoria EDC updates to end your week:

Intersect Illinois: I often say that our work at GPEDC is amplified by partnership. And there is no better partner than Intersect Illinois, the private organization that serves as the economic development marketing arm for the state of Illinois. At our Annual Meeting held earlier this week, Intersect’s CEO Dan Seals gave the opening remarks and shared information on “Why Illinois?” It was a great kickoff to the meeting and helped those gathered online to understand all that our state has to offer. You can find a copy of his presentation here. Additionally, Dan and his board chair, John Atkinson, authored an editorial titled “The naysayers have it wrong – Illinois is the place to be for businesses,” that ran in the Chicago Tribune this week. You can read that here. My thanks to Dan for taking some time out of his day to spend with GPEDC.

Speaking of the Annual Meeting: Mother Nature was not our friend when it came to the in-person option for Tuesday’s annual meeting. Midday Monday, with the uncertainty of a possible snow-pocalypse, we switched to an all-virtual meeting. Certainly not ideal, but I still appreciated that over 70 people jumped on the Zoom to hear both Dan’s presentation and a recap of the great work of GPEDC. If you missed the meeting (or for some reason want to relive it), you can watch the update section here or see the slides here

Annual Report: And if you haven’t gotten enough of GPEDC, we have just published our 2023 Annual Report. These will be going out in the mail to investors in the next few days, but you can take a look at the online version here.

TPM Certification: As I’ve stated before, workforce development = economic development. Near the end of last year, we launched our first Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) initiative in manufacturing and logistics. To support that work, Jeffrey just wrapped up his coursework for the TPM Academy. Created by the U.S. Chamber Foundation, the TPM Academy trains business, workforce, economic development, and education leaders on the TPM framework, a demand-driven strategy to create career pathways for students and workers with talent pipelines aligned to dynamic business needs. The virtual cohort Jeffrey studied with had economic development professionals, leaders in higher education and training institutions, and even a globally recognized employer looking to implement the TPM system for their entire organization. Having more advanced knowledge in TPM will help him to facilitate our current employer-led initiative as well as one for healthcare that will kickoff later this year. 

Spark! in Havana: The Havana Chamber of Commerce and the Smithsonian Institution are partnering to host Spark! Places of Innovation in Havana starting this weekend. The Smithsonian’s traveling exhibit will also include Havana’s companion exhibition detailing the diversity and exploitation of the Illinois River Valley, featuring research from the University of Illinois Forbes Biological Station and Illinois River Biological Station. The exhibit will also showcase the innovative ways Havana has reinvented itself and restored its historic Downtown to transform its business community and grow its tourism industry. Lots of great activities through February 17, including a ribbon cutting on January 13 at 11 am. More information here.

INVENT: Illinois recently launched a new program to support startups. The INVENT program will provide an equity investment in scalable startups in key industries as a match to private equity investments. Whether you are an entrepreneur or an investor, you’ll want to learn about this great new program. Distillery Labs, Peoria Next and the Bradley SBDC are hosting a day-long symposium on the program and other vital startup information next Wednesday from 9 am – 4:30 pm. More information and free registration here.

GPEDC Hiring: Just a reminder that we are seeking the next great person to join the GPEDC staff as our Research & Insights Manager. This critical position will help fuel all of our work but will be particularly helpful in gathering and sharing data that supports our business attraction efforts. We are looking for someone curious, diligent, well-organized, and collaborative. The full job announcement can be found here. Please share with anyone you feel might be interested.

Have a great weekend.