Why DeKalb County?



Workforce | Transportation/LogisticsUtilities | Target Industries| Incentives

In 2016…

Nearly $100 million in Capital Investment
500,000+ SF of Industrial Development
700+ Jobs Created – the largest amount in a decade


Aerial views of the recently completed 978,120 SF 3M Distribution Center located in Park 88 in DeKalb, IL. The footage is courtesy of Mark Goode, Principal, of Venture One Real Estate.

Top Ten Reasons to Choose DEKALB COUNTY

Select a number below or simply scroll down to learn more about DeKalb County’s competitive advantages:

1. Location and Transportation

2. Superior Performance and Profitable Operations

3. Communities Facilitate Speed to Market

4. Dynamic Education and Research Partnerships

5. Unlimited, Cost-Effective Bandwidth Connects DeKalb County to Global Marketplace

6. DeKalb County’s Sizeable and Talented Workforce Fulfills Staffing Needs

7. Manufacturing Hub with Access to Extensive Supplier Networks

8. Culture of Innovation

9. Shovel-Ready Development Sites with Pre-Approved Incentive Policies

10. Productive Business Climate

 1. LOCATION AND TRANSPORTATION

Located on I-88 in the center of the I-39 Corridor, DeKalb County affords congestion-free access to Metro Chicago destinations and Mid-American markets via I-55, I-57, I-80, I-90, and I-94. Convenient corporate, passenger and cargo charter flights are available through DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport, only minutes away. International commercial flights through Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport are within an hour’s drive. Cargo transshipment is available via intermodal facilities for all six major U.S. railroads with the region.

 2. SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE AND PROFITABLE OPERATIONS

After rapidly attaining top-tier performance among all of the company’s distribution centers, Target converted their regional distribution center in DeKalb into a national Upstream Distribution Center, employing an additional 400 associates. DeKalb County’s proximity to vendors and de-consolidators enables Target to generate transportation cost savings by taking advantage of backhaul opportunities. Performance and community partnerships inspired 3M to select DeKalb for five distribution center expansions, including four new buildings, during the past eight years. DeKalb serves as the main global distribution complex for five of 3M’s six business units and export operations to North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

 3. COMMUNITIES FACILITATE SPEED TO MARKET

DeKalb County communities recognizeSKHandtools that speed is critical in the development of industrial facilities and routinely expedite review of development plans and building permits to facilitate timely construction. The 130,000 square foot SK Hand Tool headquarters and manufacturing facility in the Sycamore Prairie Business Park was completed by Krusinski Construction in only 12 weeks. This was critical to re-initiating production after SK’s acquisition by IDEAL INDUSTRIES.

3M

3M’s fifth DeKalb Distribution Center, a 650,000 square foot facility, was completed in Park 88 by Clayco and Venture One Real Estate in 4 months. Meeting this aggressive deadline was paramount to supporting 3M’s ongoing business acquisitions by promptly integrating new products into 3M’s global supply chain.

Watch Dave Juday, of IDEAL INDUSTRIES, explain how DeKalb County’s expedited speed to market helped SK Hand Tool build its new facility in the Sycamore Prairie Business Park in record time.

 4. DYNAMIC EDUCATION AND RESEARCH PARTNERSHIPS

NIUNorthern Illinois University and Kishwaukee College provide boundless opportunities for education and training, as well as corporate research and development. NIU, the second largest research university in Illinois with 18,000 students, offers nationally-recognized programs including accounting, business management, engineering, and operations management and information systems. NIU routinely partners with businesses on management consulting and product development assignments and plays a major role in the development of new life sciences, medical, nanotechnology, engineering, renewable energy and software development applications.

NIU partnered with IDEAL INDUSTRIES to create the IDEAL/NIU Intrapreneurship Center. Interdisciplinary teams of NIU students work with IDEAL leaders to bring new products and technologies to market.
Kishwaukee College 02-08-2013Kishwaukee College and Waubonsee Community College provide valuable programs in pre-engineering, automated engineering technology, electronics, and logistics & transportation. In addition to higher education, DeKalb High School, in the heart of DeKalbCounty, ranked in the top 10% of high schools nationwide in U.S. News and World Report’s 2013 Best High School rankings.

Watch Northern Illinois University President Dr. Doug Baker talk about how faculty, staff and student research provide intellectual property and new graduates create the human capital that help local businesses thrive in DeKalb County.

 5. UNLIMITED, COST-EFFECTIVE BANDWIDTH CONNECTS DEKALB COUNTY TO GLOBAL MARKETPLACE

Fiber Optic NetworkNorthern Illinois University has made DeKalb County a hub of high-speed fiber optic networks enabling the provision of virtually unlimited broadband services to companies and institutions at competitive prices. NIUNet, Northern Illinois Technology Triangle (NITT), and the DeKalb Advancement of Technology Authority (DATA)  interface with all major high speed regional and international telecommunications networks connecting businesses and entrepreneurs to the fast-shrinking world marketplace.

 6. DEKALB COUNTY’S SIZABLE AND TALENTED WORKFORCE FULFILLS STAFFING NEEDS

IWC LogoThe DeKalb County Labor Market includes over 611,000 workers residing within a 40 minute drive. DeKalb and its surrounding counties employ 124,000+  Production, Transportation, and Material Moving workers; 35,000+ Computer, Engineering, and Science workers; and 110,000+ in Management, business, and finance workers. Employers can access a sizeable talent pool from Northern Illinois University and Kishwaukee College. The Illinois workNet Center, sponsored by the Workforce Development Board or Kane, Kendall, and DeKalb Counties and operated by Kishwaukee College, is available to recruit, test, screen, and train candidates for employers. Area schools are partnering with industry through the DeKalb Ogle Workforce Development Consortium to coordinate career development activities like internships and job shadowing. A variety of high school vocational programs are provided by the Kishwaukee Education Consortium (KEC).

7. MANUFACTURING HUB WITH ACCESS TO EXTENSIVE SUPPLIER NETWORK

Manufacturers thrive in DeKalb County in part because a world class support system is in place to serve engineering, product development, problem-solving and testing operations. The county’s location between Chicago and Rockford affords easy access to some of the best molding, metal stamping, metal forming, forging, finishing, plating and body panel design and fabrication operations in the Midwest. Top notch machine shops are available throughout the region. Machine tools, cutting tools and advanced technology are easily accessible.

8. CULTURE OF INNOVATION

DSCN0488

DeKalb County industry plays a significant role in business innovation. Two different forms of barbed wire were invented here, making DeKalb the center for barbed wire production. DeKalb AgResearch, now Monsanto, revolutionized agriculture throughout the world with the development of hybrid seed corn. After transforming the electrical industry with the introduction of screw-on wire nut connectors, IDEAL INDUSTRIES continues their innovative work with the Audacy wireless energy management technology and the Power Puck mobile device charging systems. Auto Meter develops 200 new products each year to strengthen its position as the worldwide leader in racing industry performance instrumentation. Smart Motion Robotics’ SmartPacker system, pictured to the right, is the egg industry’s leading robotic packing solution.

Watch Dean Panettieri of AutoMeter Products, Inc. share his insights on how DeKalb County provides the quality, talented workforce that allows it to design more than 200 new and innovative products every year.

9. SHOVEL-READY DEVELOPMENT SITES WITH PRE-APPROVED INCENTIVE POLICIES

Cooperative and proactive communities, working in partnership with landowner developers have facilitated the development of industrial parks with shovel-ready sites in nearly every community in DeKalb County. DCEDC guides site selectors and business executives in the selection, planning, and development of industrial sites and buildings. The Dekalb County Enterprise Zone, administered by DCEDC, provides pre-approved incentive policies in place to assure timely review and approval of industrial projects and development agreements.

Watch Mark Goode of Venture One Real Estate affirm how DeKalb County’s pre-approved incentives and shovel-ready sites help to drive the county’s economic growth and development.

10. PRODUCTIVE BUSINESS CLIMATE

DCEDC regularly conducts Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) visits. The most recent DCEDC “Voice of Industry” report quantified BRE survey results, highlighting the outstanding DeKalb County business climate. In this survey, DeKalb County ranked above the North American average in all categories of workforce evaluation and DeKalb County public services scored above the North American average in 10 of the 11 categories surveyed. In addition, 59% of companies surveyed reported that they planned to expand, with a 93% probability it would be in DeKalb County. Through Business Retention and Expansion consultations, DCEDC contributes to industry growth and profitability by connecting companies with valuable resources.