June 23, 2023

GPEDC Weekend Update- June 23, 2023

Here are some GPEDC updates to end your week:

Career Spark Kickoff: It doesn’t seem possible, but Career Spark is on the horizon. We actually never stop planning for Career Spark, but Thursday morning was our official kickoff breakfast. We joined our friends and partners at Junior Achievement to celebrate last year’s success and discuss this year’s event, being held September 28 and 29 at the Peoria Civic Center. You can see the recap PowerPoint here and the 2022 video (featuring GPEDC board member Brian Ray of PNC) here. Let me know if you want to get involved.

Inland Tool: We are involved with several projects and initiatives that revolve around assisting our manufacturing sector.  One of them is our membership in the “Illinois Defense Manufacturing Consortium.” This initiative is funded by the US Department of Defense and comes to us via our partnership with the University of Illinois Chicago and is focused on casting, foundry, forging, energy storage, and metal stamping sectors. The key to this initiative is meeting with our amazing manufacturers across the region. This week Sally and Dick were joined by Ray Ziganto and Mike Waight of the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center to visit Inland Tool in Mt. Pulaski (Logan County). They met with Kirk Evans (pictured below with Dick, Ray, and Mike) and discussed workforce struggles and the regional pipeline, and opportunities for automation. Inland Tool is a member of the Greater Peoria Manufacturing Network

R^se Summit: David has been partnering with the Peoria Chamber of Commerce and the Young Professionals of Greater Peoria to plan the first-ever R^se Summit, a bi-annual conference for young professionals across the Midwest. This dynamic two-day conference is crafted to create connections, spark growth, and stimulate thought with its powerhouse roster of keynote speakers and participatory sessions. The Summit will run from August 21-23 at the Par-A-Dice Hotel. Like the Big Table, the core themes will be Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Quality of Life, Professional Development, and Innovation and Entrepreneurship. It promises to provide invaluable tools to tackle modern work challenges and catalyze personal progression. Companies should consider sending their young professionals. More information here.

Speaking Engagements: Last week was a busy one for presentations. On Thursday, I was asked to make a presentation to the amazing team at Jim Maloof Realtor. The following day I was the speaker at the Rotary Club of Peoria (downtown) at the invitation of Rotarian and matron of the Setti house, Dr. Eileen. I love getting to share about the strong work of Greater Peoria EDC and to hopefully impart on attendees a feeling of hope and pride in our community. It was also great to see so many partners in both crowds, including GPEDC board member Don Johnson of Goodwill Industries (who won the door prize at the Rotary meeting when his name was drawn from a hat by yours truly!) You can check out my presentation here. If you have a group that wants to hear more about Greater Peoria and GPEDC, any one of my staff would be happy to speak.

Manufacturing Boom: If you have a few moments, take a look at this interesting read in Axios about the boom in American manufacturing. “As of April, spending on manufacturing construction — new factories — is tracking at a $189 billion annual rate, triple the average rate in the 2010s ($63 billion).” Lenora and the rest of the team have been working hard to put Greater Peoria in position to take advantage of this trend, a trend that doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. We’ve certainly seen some evidence of activity: We’ve already fielded dozens of Requests for Information from site selectors – including nine in a seven-day period – and it’s not even the end of June yet.

Have a great weekend.