With its active DoD installations and diverse industrial base, Illinois has strong links to the military and the companies and people that support it. The Greater Peoria region plays an important role in the national defense industry with its strong manufacturing industrial base. A considerable number of companies in the region performed Department of Defense (DoD) work as a prime, sub-contractor or part of the supply chain. For the period of 2017-2020 there have been an average of 72 regional establishments with at least one defense contract. DoD sales for the period of 2017-2020 in the Greater Peoria region averaged $262 Million annually with $1.2 Billion for the full time period.
The U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation (OLDCC) (oldcc.gov) and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) eda.gov/ recognized and awarded the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) grants to help the defense regions of Peoria, Rockford, Quad Cities, and Chicago, along with the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC), adapt to DoD program changes, expansions, cutbacks and the COVID-19 pandemic.
OLDCC and EDA grant funds have supported the formation and implementation of the Illinois Defense Network (IDN). IDN directly connects the Illinois Industry Resilience program with defense-impacted communities and a network of stakeholders from industry, government and academia to develop and implement programs that strengthen Illinois’ defense economy. The Illinois Defense Network-Peoria Region represents nine counties (Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Logan, Mason, Marshall, Stark, Fulton, McLean).
Greater Peoria EDC’s programs and initiatives (below) are leveraging the IDN grants to assist with the implementation of the five industry resilience strategies to help bolster defense programs through the development of action-oriented solutions.
- Illinois Defense Network (#1 Manufacturing And Supply Chain Mapping)
- Greater Peoria Manufacturing Network (#2 Industry Cluster Development)
- CareerSpark (#3 Enhancing Workforce Development)
- Distillery Labs (#4 Entrepreneurship And Small Business Development)
- Foreign-Trade Zone #114 (#5 Export Promotion)
Linda Krendick and Brandon Hostetter, both with procurement, defense, and supply chain expertise, serve as part time Peoria Region IDN Program Managers, providing enhanced technical assistance. They utilize the findings and insights from the University of Illinois’ defense industry economic analysis, Supply Chain Mapping Tool, and Federal Compass to provide business intelligence relative to the defense industry opportunities.
Director of Business Assistance