June 28, 2024

GPEDC Weekend Update- June 28, 2024

A few updates to end your week:

Peoria Enterprise Zone: A tip of my cap to Sally for getting approval from the state of Illinois for an amendment to the Peoria Urban Enterprise Zone (PUEZ) – and in what feels like record time! This amendment (the ninth since original adoption) added 17 parcels and removed two, which will help with development in unincorporated Peoria County and West Peoria. Enterprise Zones are some of the best incentives for business development, and Sally’s ability to manage the complex process of amendment is a hidden asset to our business community.

GPMN Quarterly Meeting: The Greater Peoria Manufacturing Network (GPMN) hosted its quarterly meeting last Thursday at the Peoria Next Innovation Center. Staying true to its name as a networking group, the entire time was spent in a social networking exercise that allowed everyone in attendance to speak directly with each other one-on-one. This was consistent and aligned with the first priority action item recommended in our recently released Workforce Recovery Plan: Establish deep and meaningful relationships with local businesses. While the GPMN works to promote its members collectively and individually to new customers, it is also a forum for members to get to know each other – and do business with each other. Check out the GPMN website here or reach out to Dick at dpeplow@greaterpeoriaedc.org for more information.

GPMN Members Featured: Speaking of GPMN, the most recent edition of The Illinois Manufacturer (the quarterly magazine of the Illinois Manufacturers Association) featured a profile of a great partnership between Integris Engineering and Quality Metal Products. Their partnership – first sparked through GPMN – has allowed Integris to help Quality Metals automate a number of its processes with robotics. You can read more about their work here.

Winners: On a similar theme, two GPMN members received Manufacturing Excellence Awards from IMA and IMEC earlier this month. Nearly 150 companies and individuals were nominated for the inaugural Excellence Awards in eight categories. Morton Industries (Champion of Operational Excellence) and Enercon (Innovator of the Year) were taking home some hardware. The ceremony also included the first set of inductions into the Illinois Manufacturing Hall of Fame. Among those recognized was our very own Caterpillar. Congratulations to all those celebrated.

ISBE Career Connections: Jeffrey attended last week’s ISBE Career Connections event at the Tinley Park Convention Center. There were about 300 educators, workforce development professionals, employers, and administrators in attendance. He visited breakout sessions that included our own local JA team speaking about CareerSpark and how to enable a more robust experience by leveraging partners to co-chair aspects of the event. Jeffrey also networked with several vendors to get some insights into innovative technologies and services to make work-based learning more accessible for all students. There was a great breakout session about Student Organizations, namely one called Young Women LEAD that highlighted some great works at building a foundation and future for young women in leadership. The day ended with a discussion on leveraging AI for CTE programming. 

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.

Have a great weekend.