Paul Borek, DCEDC Executive Director: Illinois a Global Leader in Innovation and Largest Midwest Economy
Mark Peterson proclaimed a “new day for economic development in Illinois” while visiting DeKalb County, recently. INTERSECT Illinois’ President and CEO proclaimed that the most innovative location in the world for food production is Illinois.
These and other facts about Illinois will be boldly promoted by the State’s private sector economic development organization (EDO). “We will no longer allow our neighboring states to define Illinois,” said Peterson at the DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation’s (DCEDC) Business Roundtable & Networking Luncheon on February 22nd at Fatty’s.
Before INTERSECT was created, Peterson observed, the state had all the ingredients of successful economic development; however, Illinois needed a statewide marketing organization to put the pieces together and pitch the message to businesses and site selectors.
INTERSECT Illinois is a privately funded organization established to work in partnership local communities and businesses to provide a unified, apolitical approach to business recruitment. Intersect is governed by an 18-member board consisting of the top CEO’s in the state and the country.
The private organization is designed to provide stability during political transition. This is essential as some business development projects evolve over 4-5 years or more.
INTERSECT can do things that even the best local EDO’s can’t do. For example, if DCEDC wishes to meet with a national out-of-state site selection consultant, it is likely that the consultant cannot allocate the time to meet with one county from Illinois. However, INTERSECT can organize a meeting with the Governor and several Illinois EDO’s and command the attention of the site consultant.
In this manner, INTERSECT works for all local Illinois communities, economic development organizations (EDO’s), utilities, rail partners and others active economic development partners. INTERSECT’s initiatives afford all Illinois partners a national presence by meeting with thought leaders and decision makers to pitch Illinois regions and communities.
To respond in a timely manner to site selectors, INTERSECT has invested $180,000 in research software. These resources are available to assist local organizations with similar research needs. INTERSECT will launch a new interactive website in April. The website will have open source resources available to site selectors, businesses and local communities. Included will be information on all major development sites in the nation and detailed labor market data.
To begin to understand and distinguish the state strengths, Peterson researched Illinois patents in all industries. He found that Illinois was the top state in new food processing patents. Illinois had more food patents than any other state … for the past 10 years. Even more notable, Illinois had more food patents than any country in the world.
Over the past few months, Peterson has assembled a team of business development professionals and charged them to build relationships with the business community, EDO’s & national site consultants. He noted INTERSECT recently raised $1 million in new money. These resources allow INTERSECT to meet on short notice with businesses about development opportunities on short notice throughout the country or world.
These efforts are paying off. During 2017 Illinois logged $3.8 billion in investment and 50,000 jobs from 432 projects, ranking 3rd in the U.S. behind only Texas ad Ohio. This may be good for now, Peterson noted, but Illinois can double these numbers, as they did 10 years ago when 835 projects were recorded. Quoting Governor Bruce Rauner, Peterson said “There’s no reason Illinois shouldn’t be the fastest growing economy in the U.S.”
Despite what our neighboring states would like to have you believe, Illinois is the leading economy in the Midwest by a significant margin. The state will soon “reassert itself as rightful leader of the Midwest.” Illinois is about to announce several new projects secured at the expense of other Midwest states, Peterson stated.
Ultimately, in 4-5 years, INTERSECT would like to unite the Midwest states as a marketing block. United, the Midwest as a block would be the 4th largest economy in the world. For now, though, the top priority is to strengthen Illinois.
Peterson noted that DCEDC accompanied Governor Rauner and INTERSECT on as Asia Trade Mission to Japan and China. Why is foreign direct investment, or FDI, a priority? There are over 1,800 foreign companies operating in Illinois, 630 of which are Japanese. The United Kingdom, Germany and Canadian businesses are also major players in the U.S.
INTERSECT has a healthy pipeline of 65 projects currently, Peterson noted, including the Amazon second headquarters. Illinois made the final 20 in the Amazon competition. Win or lose, Illinois opened eyes about the strong technology environment.
Peterson efforts to staff and equip INTERSECT and fortify relationships with statewide partners is designed to build capacity and credibility with companies and site selectors, so that we have an opportunity to compete for all available projects. “If we get a good fair look, Illinois will win its fair share of projects,” said Peterson.
Peterson closed by encouraging all of us to be ambassadors for our state home, Illinois. We need to defend Illinois, because the Illinois economy is great and the state will succeed. We all need to communicate this message.
DeKalb County well positioned to help INTERSECT Illinois with this message. From barbed wire to broadband DeKalb County is Innovation, including:
– Hybrid Seed Development by Monsanto (formerly DeKalb AG);
– Wireless energy management and the IDEAL/NIU Intrapreneurship Program by IDEAL INDUSTRIES;
– Development of 250 new products each year by Auto Meter racing gauges;
– Aerospace structural composites by J6 Polymers;
– Dairy ingredients and flavorings by Tate & Lyle Custom Ingredients;
– Innovative shelf-stable food products by The Suter Company;
– Packaging machine development by Sonoco/Alloyd and Algus; and
– Over 200 business and industry partnerships with NIU’s College of Engineering and Engineering Technology.
These and other innovative, entrepreneurial businesses & partnerships prosper in DeKalb Co. We applaud the initiatives of INTERSECT Illinois and we look forward to working together to attract international and domestic business investment.
DCEDC Celebrates 30 years at their Annual Dinner/State of the County Event!
DCEDC recently hosted our Annual Dinner & State of the County Event, where we celebrated our 30th Anniversary. The evening began with a high-level networking reception where several DCEDC Members highlighted their business goods and services. Following the reception, a delicious plated dinner was served by Faranda’s Banquet Center. During the dinner hour, our guests were entertained by the Harmelodics, an all-female acapella group of young women who attend NIU. Guests could watch a video collection of information dating back 30 years. DCEDC would especially like to thank our Founding and Continuous Members for their initial investment and ongoing investment in our organization and in DeKalb County, Illinois!
Blackhawk Moving & Storage, City of DeKalb, City of Genoa, City of Sycamore, ComEd, Crum-Halsted Agency, Curran Contracting, Daily Chronicle/Shaw Media, DeKalb County, Illinois, DeKalb County Farm Bureau, First National Bank, DeKalb Township, Driv-Lok, First Midwest Bank < Formerly National Bank and Trust >, Heartland Bank and Trust Company < Formerly American National Bank > , IDEAL INDUSTRIES INC., Kishwaukee College, McCabe Realtors/Chuck Lindhart, Nicor Gas, Northern Illinois University, Pardridge Insurance, Resource Bank, N.A., Sandwich Township, Sycamore Industrial Park/Robert T. & Doris Boey, The Larson Group/Mike Larson, The Suter Company, Town of Cortland, Village of Kirkland, Village of Malta, Village of Shabbona, Village of Waterman, WALT, Ltd., Waste Management of Illinois, Zea Mays Holdings.
Next, we were honored to welcome back Illinois’s 42nd Governor, Bruce Rauner. Governor Rauner stated that “DeKalb County, Illinois is on the international radar and has many advantages to bring new corporations to DeKalb County.” Following Governor Rauner’s compelling keynote address, DCEDC’s Executive Director, Paul J. Borek highlighted the history of DCEDC throughout the past 30 years as part of his 2017 State of the County Address.
To end the spectacular evening, DCEDC’s President, Chuck Kaiser offered the closing remarks. Remarks primarily included a reiteration of the organization’s gratitude to our guests and members who attended and/or sponsored the event, the DCEDC staff, and the Annual Dinner committee members who worked tirelessly on the event, along with our board members for volunteering their time, their talent, and their support of the event.
We would like to thank our generous members for once again supporting this event.
Special thanks to our Annual Event Sponsors: DeKalb County Government, City of DeKalb, IDEAL INDUSTRIES, Northwestern Medicine/Kishwaukee Hospital, First National Bank, First Midwest Bank. Northern Illinois University, Larson & Darby Group, Monsanto, OSF Healthcare, Venture One Real Estate, Nicor Gas and ComEd.
Thank you to the following Event Sponsors, B95 WDKB-FM, City of Genoa, City of Sycamore, Clayco, ComEd, Curran Contracting, DeKalb-Sycamore Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC, the Daily Chronicle/Shaw Media, Enbridge Energy, Faranda’s Banquet Center, First Midwest Bank, Illinois Community Credit Union, Harmelodics, Hy-Vee, Heartland Bank & Trust Company, Kishwaukee College, Klein, Stoddard, Buck & Lewis, LLC, Krusinski Construction Company, Larson & Darby Group, Meadowvale, Inc., Missman, Inc., A Division of IMEG Corp., MorningStar Media Group Ltd., Northwestern Medicine/Kishwaukee Hospital, NorthStar Packing, LLC, Shepard Construction Co., Superior Diesel, Inc Sundog, Syndeo Networks, Inc.,Target Upstream Distribution Center, Tate and Lyle, Venture One Real Estate and Waste Management of Illinois/DCRDF.
Click here for a recap of Governor Bruce Rauner’s keynote and Paul Borek’s State of the County Address. Dcedc.org/events
Thank you Annual Dinner Event Sponsors!
Special Thanks to our Annual Event Sponsors for your support!
The DeKalb/Ogle Workforce Development Consortium hosts their 5th Annual Heavy Metal Tour
Gene Fogle, The Industrial Workforce Coordinator recaps the event:
Scheduling issues prevented the Heavy Metal Tour from occurring on Manufacturing Day, but rescheduling did not prevent the students from participating in an outstanding tour provided by eight area businesses and Kishwaukee College.
September 29th dawned a gorgeous day and all one hundred and five students were on board buses by 8:10 am and heading to their first stop. Genoa-Kingston students did not go far before they stopped at one of the newest operations in Genoa, J6 Polymers. The students were introduced to “J-foam, a proprietary material used in a variety of applications including aircraft. Nick Bender from the Illinois Commerce Department presented Bob Wood, owner of J6, a Proclamation from Governor Rauner, and thanking J6 Polymers for their first-time participation in the Heavy Metal Tour. At the same time, Sycamore students headed north to Sycamore Precision, where Mike Hirn and his wonderful staff provided an in-depth tour of the Genoa-based CNC job shop. Sycamore Precision provides a diversified customer base with quality machined cast components. Rochelle students dropped by the newly renovated Prescott Brother’s Ford dealership, where Chad Young showed students the various departments and career paths available in the automotive industry. Finally, DeKalb students went cross-town to Target Distribution, where General Manager Mike Milano explained the “Target culture” and what it takes to be a Target employee. With over 700 employees and eight miles of conveyor, Target distribution provided an interesting insight to the world of logistics.
Roughly an hour later, all the students were back on board buses and heading to the second industrial stop on their tour. Genoa students headed south to take a look at IDEAL Industries, the family-owned international supplier of tools and electrical testing equipment. A market leader in the production of “wire nuts,” IDEAL also supplies “Audacy” a wireless lighting control system for the Chicago Cubs. To recognize IDEAL for five years of Heavy Metal Tour sponsorship, Nick Bender also presented a Proclamation to IDEAL Industries. Meanwhile, Auto Meter Products hosted the Sycamore students to their facility downtown. Auto Meter is a manufacturer and supplier of automotive instrumentation. Carving out a niche in the automotive market is tough but Auto Meter accomplished this and more. They are a recognized leader in auto electrical testing devises, automotive telemetry, OEM and aftermarket instrumentation, with benchmark level quality and performance. The Rochelle Hubs proceeded north to Lindenwood to visit Swenson Products. This operation builds medium-sized spreading and plowing equipment for municipalities and airports. Bill Hinzsche and his staff answered questions and gave insight into the building of snow removal equipment. Last, but not least, DeKalb visited H. A. Phillips the builder of ammonia-based refrigeration equipment. We are not talking about freezers, we talking about the equipment that it takes at the United Center to have a Bulls game on one night and the Blackhawks on home ice the next night. The steel is typically over an inch thick and the folks at Phillips form it and weld it perfectly. Brian Youssi is the President of the operation and he conducted the informational tour.
As the noon hour approached, all the buses headed toward Kishwaukee College. As the point of the congregation over the last five years, Kishwaukee College provides tours through their Career Technologies Wing. Zach Caccia and his students provide demonstrations in three different disciplines in the welding lab. Pete Campbell introduced the students to Computer Numeric Control code and then watched a machine follow the code to create a medallion for the fifth annual Heavy Metal Tour. Charles Raimondi gave the students a quick look at the world of electronics, circuit boards, programmable controllers and proximity switches. Various instructors guided tour through the auto tech, diesel tech and horticulture areas.
Each group stopped for pizza lunch provided by Walt Ltd, a machine shop that does projects for local companies, a long-time supporter of D/OWDC and Kishwaukee College. The marketing department at Kishwaukee College also provided all students a uniquely designed t-shirt commemorating the event.
Many thanks to all the hosts, sponsors and participants for making the fifth annual Heavy Metal Tour a success. All the students returned to their home schools by 2:30 pm and were ready for some rest.
Target Corporation Receives Illinois Edie Award
Target Corporation received an “Edie” Award from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Economic Development Association on September 28th, 2017. The 9th Annual Economic Development in Illinois Awards were presented at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Luncheon at the Drake Hotel in Chicago.
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner presented the award to Mike Milano, General Manager of the Target Upstream Distribution Center in DeKalb, IL. Milano was accompanied by award sponsor Paul Borek, Executive Director of the DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC).
Target, the second largest general merchandise retailer in America, completed the $50 million conversion of their DeKalb regional distribution center into an “upstream distribution center” in early 2016. The operation handles seasonal and specialty merchandise for one-third of the U.S. To operate this national facility, Target has more than doubled employment from 350 to 750 workers, and they are continuing to hire. DCEDC coordinated the efforts of the Illinois workNet Center, managed by Kishwaukee College, to assist Target in promoting mass hiring events to staff this facility throughout 2016.
For the past 30 years, DCEDC has worked to expand and diversify the DeKalb area Economy. Since 2004, when Target purchased 119 acres of land to build a 1,500,000 square foot distribution center, they have been a dedicated DCEDC partner by investing in DeKalb, operating the distribution center, employing area residents, and avidly supporting community activities. In 2011, the DeKalb Target Distribution Center was in the top tier within Target Corporation in efficiency, safety, and cost. Target noted that their success was due to the interstate highways, infrastructure, and labor pool and community partnerships that DeKalb County has to offer. DCEDC Congratulates Target on the success of its DeKalb Upstream Distribution Center!
DCEDC hosts the Economic Impact of the Agriculture Industry
On Wednesday, August 16th, 2017, DCEDC hosted a Business Roundtable Event & Tour at the Monsanto Research Facility in Waterman, IL. DCEDC guests were enlightened on how Agriculture affects the local, national and global economy. Featured presenters included Troy Dukes, Renee Nowak, and John Hardin. Dukes spoke to the production site methods and how Monsanto is utilizing and applying, the latest technology and innovations from the 21st century. Monsanto’s Renee Nowak shared information about the millions of tests that Monsanto must undergo in order to provide farmers with the best products. John Hardin from Monsanto explained processes in the entomology, pathology and breeding departments that take place the Waterman site. The Waterman site is a large contributor to the farmers located in the northern region. Special thank you to the guidance of Dr. Andrea Dolezal and Dr. Judd Maxwell for guiding our guest through the tour. Along the tour, guests could witness first hand, plot disease, the history of corn and the entomology sites.
DCEDC would like to thank all the event participants and the staff members at the Monsanto Research facility! We are sincerely appreciative of your support and organization for this event.
Many thanks to our Annual Event Sponsors, DeKalb County Government, Northwestern Medicine, Nicor Gas, Northern Illinois University, OSF HealthCare, Larson & Darby Group, Monsanto, ComEd, Ideal Industries, Inc., Venture One Real Estate, City of DeKalb, First Midwest Bank, and First National Bank for your contribution to this, and all the DCEDC events!
The delicious picnic style luncheon was prepared by DCEDC’s Member, Tom & Jerry’s of Sycamore/Catering by Diann.
We appreciate our guests who attended another quality DCEDC Event!
DCEDC hosts Annual Industrial Focus Luncheon
On June 29th, DCEDC held their annual Industrial Focus Luncheon at the DeKalb County Farm Bureau, focusing on business resources. DCEDC thanks its long-time partner for hosting the event in its beautiful venue. Guests enjoyed a networking opportunity as well as a delightful lunch provided by Nat’s On Maple. Panel presenters included Dr. Jerry Blazey, Dr. Laurie Borowicz, and Chris Blumhoff. Dr. Blazey, from Northern Illinois University, gave the first presentation, highlighting the partnerships that NIU has to offer and how those could benefit surrounding companies. He also noted the diverse program offerings that make students valuable workforce assets. Dr. Borowicz, from Kishwaukee College, described several examples of how KC provides programs to help students transfer to a four-year university. KC focuses extensive efforts to collaborate with industries, high schools, and NIU to provide excellent business resources for the community. Finally, Chris Blumhoff from IMEC concluded the presentation by describing IMEC’s commitment to industry excellence. Their validated, leading edge model IMEC works with companies to bring forth success. All panelists discussed their collaborative efforts and how they will continue to work together. Afterward, the audience was offered an opportunity to ask the panelist further questions and to gain further insights on their industry.
Thank you to our sponsors, Superior Diesel Inc, Heartland Bank and Trust Company, Tate & Lyle, Clayco, Valley Industrial Association, and DeKalb County Farm Bureau for your support towards this event. We are grateful for our Co-Chairs Karen Pletsch and Gary Evans for their help in planning the event. Additionally, many thanks to DCEDC Annual Event Sponsors: DeKalb County Government, Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital, Nicor Gas, Larson and Darby Group, OSF Healthcare, Northern Illinois University, Monsanto, ComEd, IDEAL INDUSTRIES, Venture One Real Estate, First National Bank, City of DeKalb, and First Midwest Bank. Our events truly depend on your support and we are greatly appreciative of your efforts. Finally, thank you to Nat’s on Maple for catering this event.
DCEDC Hosts Annual Economic Outlook Luncheon
On March 24, 2017, DCEDC held its annual Economic Outlook Luncheon at Faranda’s Banquet Center. Senior Economist Bill Strauss of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago delivered an insightful presentation regarding the outlook of our economy. He presented data suggesting that the U.S. economy is expected to expand at a pace around trend through 2009. Additionally, Strauss stated that manufacturing output is expected to increase at a rate below its trend during 2017 and 2018 and the housing marketing is expected to continue improving through 2018. We thank the Daily Chronicle for their event coverage.
We were thrilled to have Bill Strauss back for another successful Economic Outlook Luncheon! We would like to thank Bill, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Faranda’s Banquet Center, our Economic Outlook Sponsors, and last but certainly not least, our Annual Event Sponsors!
DCEDC Receives the Genoa Area Chamber of Commerce Excellence Award
DCEDC was honored and humbled to have received the Genoa Area Chamber of Commerce Excellence Award, which “recognizes businesses that enhance the community, whether it be new or improved businesses, renovation and expansion projects or an outstanding achievement within the business community.” It was a pleasure to stand alongside other winners of the award- Karlsbad Tavern; City of Genoa; KishHealth Systems part of Northwestern Medicine, Energym Gymnastics, and Lloyd Landscape and Garden Center. Congratulations to all who were recognized at the ceremony and thank you, Genoa Area Chamber of Commerce, for your recognition and a delightful evening!
DCEDC Celebrates 30 Years: 1987-2017
With the incorporation of DCEDC on January 15, 1987, DeKalb County’s public-private economic development partnership begins its 30th year of operation. As the year progresses, DCEDC will commemorate significant development milestones and accomplishments throughout the county.
Since DCEDC’s inception, DeKalb County’s population increased 40% to 104,352 in 2015 from 74,844. Employment during this period increased 66% to 56,418 in December 2016 from 33,905. At the same time, the number of industrial firms increased 178% (to 370 from 133) and the size of the industrial market more than doubled from to 15.5 million square feet from 7.3 million.
Going forward, DCEDC is working with DeKalb County Government, the DeKalb County Community Foundation, DeKalb County Farm Bureau and NIU Center for Governmental Studies to prepare a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). The CEDS plan will create actionable goals to implement the vision outlined by the county and all of its communities through the DeKalb County Thriving! process convened last year. The DCEDC Board of Directors, representing businesses from varying sectors of the economy and all 14 communities in the county, will serve as planning committee for this effort.
DCEDC Hosts 2016 Annual Dinner/State of the County Event
DCEDC held its 2016 Annual Dinner and State of the County Event on November 2, 2016 at Faranda’s Banquet Center in DeKalb, IL. Paul Borek, DCEDC Executive Director, gave the State of the County address that highlighted the numerous economic development projects and initiatives within DeKalb County this past year. A copy of this year’s State of the County presentation is available for DCEDC members using their membership login.
This year’s keynote speaker was Jim James, Chairman and CEO of IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. James has served as IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. President and CEO since 2008 and Chairman and CEO since 2014. With more than a quarter-century of experience across several industries, including metal fabrication, aerospace, chemical adhesives and building components, Jim James leads IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. with a wealth of knowledge and visionary leadership. A graduate of Georgia State University (MBA) and the University of Wisconsin (BS in Industrial Technology), Jim also spent 16 years with Illinois Tool Works before joining IDEAL in 2008.
DeKalb County Enterprise Zone CERTIFIED
Per a resolution from Director Jim Schultz of the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO), the DeKalb County Enterprise Zone HAS BEEN CERTIFIED as of 12/17/15. As designated Zone Administrator, the DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation will work with DCEO and the Illinois Department of Revenue to establish administrative procedures for operating the Zone and qualifying beneficiaries. Further information about Zone administration can be found here.
For further information or questions, please contact DCEDC Executive Director Paul Borek.
Business Expansion/Visitation Program
DCEDC is conducting a Business Retention/Expansion Visitation Program with the help of ComEd and the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) designed to support local industry and to improve the business environment throughout the county. Our goal is to learn what it will take to retain, nurture and expand DeKalb County businesses. The program involves visits to local firms, where we will conduct interviews to identify concerns, needs and opportunities. A proven survey tool will be used to organize information gathered. Our specific objectives are to:
- Learn about the strengths and weaknesses of the local business environment.
- Identify and react to business expansion opportunities and retention threats.
- Communicate available business development resources.
- Enhance communication between businesses and local leaders.
All of the information shared, is considered strictly confidential. If you are interested in helping DCEDC or participating, please contact us at 815-895-2711, or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Manufacturing and Industry Employers: Take Advantage of Workforce Training and Career Development Programs
Industrial Career Development – The DeKalb Ogle Workforce Development Consortium was established to help businesses and educators work together to introduce students to rewarding careers in manufacturing and industrial technology. With the support of local businesses, foundations and schools, the DeKalb Ogle Workforce Development Consortium succeeded in introducing over 300 high school students to careers in industry during the past three years. As a result, Automated Engineering Technology, Diesel Power, Welding and Automotive Technology at the Kishwaukee Education Consortium (KEC) are full; students have enrolled in Career Technology programs at Kishwaukee College and Engineering Programs at Northern Illinois University; and significant progress has been made in removing obstacles to internships and summer employment at local companies. Additionally, we are pleased to acknowledge the ongoing support of education partners through the Kishwaukee Education Consortium and Kishwaukee College – for their support of the Consortium.
On-the-Job Training program from the Illinois workNet Center connects WIOA eligible participants with full-time employment within DeKalb County. Hands-on training opportunities help employees obtain skills and competencies and provides funding/training dollars to employers at 50% of the job seeker’s wages for up to six months.
More information in our Workforce Development section.
Reduced rates to attend DCEDC Events
Sponsor opportunities to market your business @ select events
Self-Managed company profile on the dcedc website
Listed in select print materials
Listing on the DCEDC Website
Eligible to participate in social media channel promotions
Access to event presentation materials
No Charge for Members to list Commercial or Industrial Real Estate Sites and Buildings under our available Inventory
Invitation to attend DCEDC’s Annual Business Meeting Luncheon
Contributions to DCEDC are eligible to be tax deductible*
Supporting DCEDC’s public/private partnership will further enable us to retain/expand existing business and industry, and attract sustainable and diversified economic growth in DeKalb County.