May 20, 2022

GPEDC Weekend Update- May 20, 2022

It was a busy week! Some GPEDC updates to end your week:

Intern Mixers: To welcome the amazing interns at companies in our region for this summer, we are inviting interns to join our Young Professionals of Greater Peoria at their social happy hour gatherings this summer! On the first Thursday of each month this June-August, there will be raffles, refreshments (including alcohol-free beverages) and great community. Mark it on your calendars to have your interns get connected in our community on June 7 from 5-7 pm at Crafted DIY and July 7 from 5-7 pm  JK Williams Distilling! Location for August TBD.

Havana Visit: Kathie and Sally organized a great day in Havana on Tuesday. A GPEDC contingent attended Havana’s “3rd Tuesday Business Coffee” where Dan Silverthorn and Bob Sinkler of the Heart of Illinois Regional Port District made a presentation on their efforts and the importance of maritime commerce along the Illinois River. The meeting was attended by about 25 local business and community leaders. The meeting was followed by a tour of various sites along the Illinois River in Havana that could be future opportunities for business expansion and attraction.

Future of Manufacturing: Our friend and partner David Boulay of the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) presented to a group of business leaders yesterday on the “Future of Manufacturing.” The conversation was based around IMEC’s recently released book “Made in Illinois: A Playbook for Illinois Manufacturers to Compete and Win” (available here). Dave led a discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing manufacturing now and in the next ten years. Not surprisingly, the discussion was heavy on workforce and supply chain issues. The meeting was held as part of the Greater Peoria Manufacturing Network but was open to anyone interested in the topic. Our thanks to GPMN member Peoria Production Solutions for hosting.

David Boulay facilitating discussions

Air National Guard: Sometimes my staff gets to have all the fun. Yesterday Sally participated in the C-130 Hercules Orientation Flight & Briefing at the 182nd Airlift Wing, Illinois Air National Guard sponsored by the Illinois Committee Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. The Guard employs over 200 enlisted and civilian personnel here in Greater Peoria.  A highlight of attending was a C-130 Flight over Peoria, Springfield and Bllomington, including having the cargo end open mid-flight to illustrate their cargo air drops. Rounding out the morning was an excellent static display tour showcasing ILANG’s Chanute helicopters, drones and apparatus starting to be used on missions, advanced communication systems, etc.

Save the Date(s): Just an early notice of dates that have been established for two important events that are returning to in-person this year (!!). Our 6th CareerSpark career fair will be held at the Peoria Civic Center on October 5th and 6th. We are planning on over 5,000 eighth grade students joining us as we gather back in one spot to learn about career opportunities in this region. Later that month, the Big Table will return to the Peoria Civic Center on Thursday, October 20.

Have a great weekend.