June 21, 2024

GPEDC Weekend Update- June 21, 2024


A few updates to end your week:

IMA Workforce: Last week was so busy that we couldn’t share it all. But last Wednesday, Jeffrey had the opportunity to attend the Third Annual Workforce Solutions Summit, hosted by the Illinois Manufacturing Association (IMA) and IMEC at Elgin Community College. It was a gathering of industry professionals, municipal leaders, and educators collaborating to discuss strategies and address manufacturing workforce challenges. There was a great keynote address by John Morehouse from the Deloitte Research Center for Energy & Industrials; additional panels discussing strategies to attract and retain talent, to in support working families facing childcare challenges, to strengthen workforce partnerships, to develop meaningful work-based learning opportunities for students, and new legislation and programs to support and integrate immigrants and refugees into the workforce. Participating in events like this ensures we are keeping up with the latest trends and developments and helps us build relationships with key partners.

Defense Convening: Another update from last week! GPEDC is one of the founding members of the Illinois Defense Manufacturing Consortium (IDMC), a group of partners in northern Illinois who collaborate to ensure that our nation’s defense systems are strong. When we think of defense we usually think of the men and women who serve in the military. But a strong defense also includes the machinery, weapons and other systems that those personnel use. And behind that equipment is a strong manufacturing culture. Peoria was able to host the IDMC for its quarterly meeting at Illinois Central College. We were joined by our friends from the University of Illinois Chicago, IMEC, the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, M3 Chicago and the Rockford Area EDC (the latter two via Zoom). In addition to updates on the individual and collective progress, the group was treated to a great tour of the manufacturing training center at ICC.

IEDA Annual Conference: I am writing this week’s Update from my Chicago hotel room just after the close of the summer conference of the Illinois Economic Development Association (IEDA). I’ve had the pleasure of serving on the IEDA board for the past five years, and this year’s conference was one of the best. We had a great address by Deputy Governor Any Manar on Illinois’ trajectory in economic development as well as updates from DCEO and Intersect Illinois. I joined my colleagues from Bloomington-Normal and Champaign-Urbana for a panel discussion on talent attraction and got to show off our Choose Greater Peoria initiative. It’s always great to reconnect with my colleagues from across the state.  

Audit: I try to use Weekend Update to highlight the work done by the various parts of GPEDC. But I hardly ever get to brag about Melissa, our Office Manager (and, frankly, the foundation of our organization). Well this week we received the results of our FY2023 financial audit and the streak of “clean opinions” lives on! This is a testament to Melissa’s organizational skills and attention to detail. We have a complex budget with multiple revenue streams that all have their own particularities. I trust Melissa implicitly, but external validation from our auditors always feels nice, too. And it’s also important to any of our investors who are reading this: your financial support of us is well and properly managed. That is just as important as the programmatic work we do. Thanks, Melissa.

Stay cool and have a great weekend.