October 14, 2022

GPEDC Weekend Update- October 14, 2022

Some GPEDC updates to end your week:

Site Selector Visit: What a way to end a week! I’m sure we will have more to say on this topic, but this week we welcomed three corporate expansion and relocation specialists (all members of the Site Selectors Guild) to Greater Peoria for a “familiarization tour.” Bob Hess, Andy Shapiro and Rajeev Thakur spent two days on the ground learning specifically about our biomedical manufacturing strategy, but also getting a better understanding of the assets and strengths of our region. They learned about Peoria Bio-Made at Peoria NEXT; heard a great presentation about our workforce development pipeline at Illinois Central College’s north campus; discussed diversity and equity issues at Art, Inc.; toured a few of our prime sites; visited with Rheo Engineering (a manufacturer of drug-making machinery); and joined community leaders for a nice reception in Peoria Heights. We were also joined by Dan Seals, CEO of Intersect Illinois, and Sylvia Garcia, Director of Illinois DCEO. It all culminated in a “read out” Friday morning before a crowd of about 50 where our guests gave feedback on what they saw and shared their thoughts on what strategies we might employ to improve our business attraction game. All of this was made possible because of our partnership with Ameren Illinois and GPEDC’s investors. Hat tip to Lenora for creating an excellent experience for our visitors and an opportunity for us to all learn.

Coal Impacted Communities: Keeping pace with the challenges facing coal impacted communities in Illinois and throughout the Illinois River Basin was the focus of a one day workshop in Southern Illinois University.  The Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization (Energy Communities IWG),  launched a new Illinois Basin Rapid Response Team (RRT), bringing together 11 federal agencies to partner with local officials and community leaders in Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky to support the region’s transition to a clean energy economy.  Kathie Brown, Director Rural Development and Outreach attended to learn more about the federal agency goals and available grant opportunities for communities and businesses in our region. We have three coal-fired power plants in Illinois that have closed or will be closed by the end of the year: Edwards (Peoria County), Havana (Mason County), and Duck Creek (Fulton County). Our work over the next year and beyond will be to develop economic strategies that will provide a similar level of tax revenue needed to maintain local government services.  Mason, Fulton and Peoria county collectively will be exploring opportunities presented by both state and federal grant programs to create a sustained transition from coal fired power in the region. 

GS1 in Peoria: Earlier this week, GS1, the global organization responsible for barcodes, filmed a segment at the Nest Coworking featuring Wild Routed, the merchandise brand of De and John Ingles. Wild Routed was a graduate from the first gBeta Distillery Labs cohort late last year. Raphael Rodolfi, the local videographer behind Videogenique, was also hired to support the showcase of the brand. We’re so excited at the progress that Wild Routed is making and can’t wait to see the video’s release. Andrew was invited to be part of their b-roll as he caught up with them on the recent work they had been working on.

CareerSpark Photostory: David put together some great photos from last week’s amazing CareerSpark 6.0: The In Person Return (ok, that isn’t it’s official name). You can check out the photo story here. Thanks again to our partners in Junior Achievement and all of our volunteers and sponsors.

One More Super Bowl: October has been a crazy, busy and awesome month. Last week was CareerSpark. This week was our site selector tour. Next week the pressure ramps up again with Big Table on Thursday, October 20. It isn’t too late to sign up. We would especially like to invite you to a free lunch and keynote address by Bob Ross, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Greater Topeka Partnership. Bob will talk about the wonderful success of their Go Topeka talent attraction campaign. Sign up here.

Have a great weekend.

Chris