June 16, 2023

GPEDC Weekend Update- June 16, 2023

Here are some GPEDC updates to end your week:

GP Manufacturing Network: Thank you to our friends at G&D Integrated for hosting the latest meeting of the Greater Peoria Manufacturing Network yesterday. Curt Fisher of G&D provided an overview of the logistics and transportation company that has been in business for over a century. Don Shafer of Illinois Central College shared information about the IT Workforce Accelerator and noted that IT jobs are not just at IT companies but embedded in every kind of business. I gave an update on some workforce programs, namely CareerSpark and Talent Pipeline Management. Finally, Andy Berberich of Integris Engineering outlined the exact reason the Network exists. Through his membership and engagement with the network he was connected to fellow-member Quality Metal Products who then partnered with Integris to embark on their first factory automation project. Pretty cool. We are hoping a future Network meeting will be held at QMP so we can see the fruits of this partnership.

New GPMN Member – Lozier Oil: The meeting was also joined by Tim Little of Lozier Oil, the newest member of the Network. Lozier Oil is based in Farmington and provides fuels and lubricants to a variety of industries, including manufacturing. Tim will be making a full presentation at the next meeting. Thank you for joining the Network!

Startup News: Three Distillery Labs updates this week. First, a recent graduate of our gBeta accelerator, the CLAW, announced that they have a pending patent on their device.  The CLAW is an innovative construction tool that was developed by two recent Bradley grads. Second, our friends at Peoria Magazine featured another gBeta graduate in their latest issue. Khushi Shah (a teenager!) developed Drizzl, a sensor that helps measure moisture and humidity in soil to help save water. Finally, GridMatrix’s first pilot is currently underway. Partnering with Distillery Labs’ “Central Illinois Living Laboratories” program and the City of Peoria, GridMatrix’s solution will provide real-time transportation analytics to the city. The powerful insights generated by this deployment will be leveraged by city traffic engineers to optimize the city’s traffic flow and improve safety for vehicles, bicyclists, micromobility users, and pedestrians alike.

IDOT Funding Programs: We are always trying to stay on top of government resources that can help our communities and businesses. Sally attended an event organized by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to gain updates on their special programs: Economic Development Program, Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program, and Safe Routes to School program. GPEDC and several units of local governments have been successful with project application submissions yielding grant awards. More on IDOT local funds here.

Vistra investment in Mason County: Vistra reported in Havana on Wednesday their plans for redevelopment of the retired coal power plant in that community. The projected economic impact of the Energy Storage Initiative Development Project at the Havana Plant Site is an estimated $73 million investment into the site with more than 70 construction jobs during the 12 month reconstruction project expected to begin in 2024. Currently the site is undergoing a review and engineering design process, with the expectation of bringing the facility online as a battery energy storage system in summer of 2025.

Quick hits:

  • Peoria County residents and businesses have until June 26 to complete a simple survey that will help plan future expansions of high speed internet. Residents can take a survey here, while businesses can take a survey here.
  • Don’t forget to RSVP for the Startup Showcase being held at the Peoria Riverfront Museum on June 28. You can hear the pitches of 10 local startups (including CLAW and Drizzl mentioned above). Register here.

Have a great weekend.