March 15, 2024

GPEDC Weekend Update- March 15, 2024

Here are some updates to end your week. 

Illinois’ Plan: Greater Peoria EDC and Distillery Labs co-hosted an input session regarding Illinois’ new five-year economic development strategy. The first plan was launched in 2019, so it’s time for an update. Facilitated by the Illinois Innovation Network (IIN), including GPEDC alumna Kari Rauh, a group of about 25 local community and economic development partners gathered at OSF Ministry Headquarters to give their thoughts on what was needed to move our state forward. The discussion ranged from workforce to equity to infrastructure to incentives. The IIN is hosting about 15 similar listening sessions across the state through the end of this month. The final report will be delivered to the Illinois General Assembly by July 1. These planning efforts might sound like meaningless exercises, but the 2019 plan helped to lay the groundwork for transformative state policy in areas like business attraction, site readiness and workforce development. My thanks to the IIN, Distillery Labs, and all the professionals who gave up nearly three hours of their day to make contributions.

Distillery Labs: After the state plan session, a handful of us walked over the Distillery Labs to check on the progress of construction. It is looking great! The new windows are in, all the demolition is complete, new walls carving out the new spaces are up, and the first floor is completely painted. GPEDC has been at the center of the development of Distillery Labs for nearly 8 years, and it is exciting to see it take shape after all that hard work. Looks like it will be open later this summer. I can’t wait.

Mason County: Last week, Kathie and Dorsey made presentations to the Mason County Board during their regular monthly meeting.  Dorsey provided a brief overview of her position as Economic Recovery Corps Fellow and discussed projects she will be working on in Mason County.  Kathie provided an update on the Mason County Broadband Feasibility Study currently underway with funding support provided through  Energy Transition Community Grant Program and Just Transition Fund.  Work completed to date includes more than 400 community surveys completed, series of key informant interviews completed, and mapping of coverage areas. Later in the week, Kathie met with Finley Engineering during their visit to the County for the field review. 

Vote Greater Peoria: Just a few more days to vote in the first round of IMA’s Makers Madness, the competition to crown the Coolest Thing Made in Illinois. Coordinated by the Illinois Manufacturers Association and sponsored by Comcast, the contest will whittle down a field of over 200 products into one winner. Through this Sunday night you can vote for up to five entries per day (per device). Greater Peoria is well represented in this initial round with an even dozen products ranging from food to machinery. 

Economic Development Forum: We are excited to bring Jay Garner, a real thought leader in economic development, to Greater Peoria as our keynote speaker for our first Economic Development Forum. Join us on April 24th at The Gateway Building for an inspiring day of strategic insights, networking, and actionable growth strategies. This is your opportunity to connect with industry leaders and forward-thinkers shaping the economic landscape of Greater Peoria. 

Your $25 ticket gets you:

  • A chance to hear from Jay Garner about how we can best position Greater Peoria to be competitive and successful in economic development
  • A copy of Jay’s book
  • A continental breakfast
  • An opportunity to network with other business, elected, and community leaders
  • Participation in shaping the future of Greater Peoria

Please click here to secure your place at the GPEDC Economic Development Forum. Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.

For any questions or to discuss sponsorship opportunities, please feel free to contact David at daduama@greaterpeoriaedc.org or (702) 886-4252. We look forward to seeing you on April 24!

February Strategy Reports: I totally forgot to add our Strategy Reports to last week’s Update. If you are an investor, the work outlined here is where your dollars go. 

Have a great weekend.