July 03, 2024

GPEDC Weekend Update- July 3, 2024


Port Master Plan: So much activity last week that I missed one! The Heart of Illinois Regional Port District held an open house to share progress to date on their Master Plan Development and Implementation Strategy.  This Illinois Department of Transportation Statewide Planning & Research (SPR) award to Tri-County Regional Planning Commission is being used to establish a cooperative, continuous, and comprehensive framework for making investment decisions to enhance Illinois River transportation and commerce. GPEDC has been a partner in the work. Our regional work helps to fill gaps in Marine Transportation Planning as part of the the Illinois Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP); promote jobs,wages, and GDP growth in the Heart of Illinois Regional Port District (HIRPD); and frame collaborative and supportive opportunities for HIRPD within the larger Illinois Waterway Ports and Terminals Ports Statistical Area (PSA). The study will support HIRPD decision-making, improve terminal assets, evaluate new business development opportunities, address land acquisition, and promote economic development along the Heart of Illinois Regional Port District. 


TechHub Announcement: When is something that happens in Champaign-Urbana and Decatur important to Greater Peoria? When a massive investment is being made in one part of Central Illinois, it benefits us all. That’s why I’m so excited that the Illinois Fermentation and Agriculture Bioprocessing Hub (iFab) was awarded $51 million by our friends at the US EDA as part of the TechHub program. The funding will allow the coalition, led by the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, to become the national center of research and development in precision fermentation and bioprocessing. Why should you care? This is an important industry for Greater Peoria. When iFab was putting its application together, they reached out to us a GPEDC to help them catalog our local industry. From Alto Ingredients in Pekin to Natural Fiber Welding in Peoria, and everything in between, we have a stake in this game. And we’ve also built really deep partnerships with our partners in Champaign and Decatur. We will be looking forward to new developments and how we can leverage this investment to make all of Central Illinois better.

Defense Manufacturing Industry Day: On August 15, GPEDC and our Greater Peoria Manufacturing Network will be participating in the first ever Defense Manufacturing Industry Day being organized by IMA and IMEC. This will be a pivotal event designed to foster collaboration, innovation, and growth within the defense manufacturing sector. This event offers a unique platform for industry leaders, government officials, and stakeholders to discuss current challenges, future opportunities, and the latest advancements in defense manufacturing technologies. It will include panel discussion, breakout sessions, exhibits, networking opportunities, and most importantly, matchmaking sessions that will make 1-1 connections between suppliers and OEMs. You can join us by registering here.

Distillery Labs Ribbon Cutting: They say that good things come to those who wait. Well, some eight years after our first work on Distillery Labs it is finally here. Join us and all our partners in celebrating the grand opening of this amazing facility on July 30 at 4:30 pm. Comments, ribbon cutting and then a party. Free to attend, but registration requested here.

Lunch with Consulates: You are invited to a lunch and discussion with Ambassador Reyna Torres Mendivil of the Consulate of Mexico and Consul General Madeleine Fequiere of the Consulate of Canada on August 8 at the Par-A-Dice hotel in East Peoria. Canada and Mexico are two of America’s largest trading partners. The consulates will be visiting Greater Peoria that day for a series of meetings with representatives from the manufacturing and agriculture communities. The lunchtime discussion is open to the public and will feature a conversation about trade policy and how our three countries cooperate economically. Their visit to our area is a joint project of the Peoria World Affairs Council, East Peoria Chamber of Commerce and GPEDC. Tickets are only $25. You can register here.

Strategy Reports: The first Tuesday of a new quarter means a GPEDC full Board of Directors meeting. That also means our quarterly strategy reports are available here. If you want to know what we’ve been up to in greater detail than these weekend updates, this is the place to look!

Happy 4th of July. Have a great, and for most, long weekend.