For her journey from secretary to mother to EMT to a nursing student, Kishwaukee College student JoEllen Kile was awarded the Illinois Community College Trustees Association’s (ICCTA) 2020 Lifelong Learning Award.  She was presented with the state-wide honor at this month’s Kishwaukee College Board of Trustee’s meeting.

In 2012, Kile had been out of high school for three decades. Her four children were grown and off pursuing their dreams. Kile decided it was time to pursue her own by enrolling at Kishwaukee College, even if that meant she didn’t have the appearance of a traditional college student.

Kile took on the training to become an emergency medical technician when she enrolled eight years ago. That work in the medical field became her passion and she quickly found a job working in the emergency room at Northwestern Medicine in DeKalb. In turn, the hospital has invested in allowing Kile to continue her education even further as she was accepted into the Kish Nursing Program and is now in her second term. Kile plans to continue to work in the emergency room and as a transplant nurse.

“Kish is proud to be an institution that promotes and supports lifelong learning,” said Kishwaukee College President Dr. Laurie Borowicz. “JoEllen is an example of how a person can continue to pursue their career goals, never letting their age be a barrier. We are proud of JoEllen and her success — in college and the workplace. She adds much to our community.”


Date posted: November 24, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Kish nursing student JoEllen Kile wins 2020 Lifelong Learning Award

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations

With Thanksgiving days away, the College’s food pantry Kody’s Cupboard, along with assistance from Kishwaukee College Phi Theta Kappa members, organized and distributed Thanksgiving meal starter kits to approximately 40 Kish students on Tuesday. This was the first year the pantry had organized the event.

Traditional Thanksgiving nonperishables such as boxed stuffing and potatoes were packed up along with canned vegetables, gravy, and cranberry sauce. Also included was a $25 Aldi gift card to help cover any other food needs.

Kody’s Cupboard was started in 2019 by the College staff and Board of Trustees to help alleviate hunger and meet basic needs for the Kishwaukee College campus community. This year’s drive was supported with Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) money, which is intended to help overcome barriers created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To help assist Kishwaukee College students or to learn more about Kody’s Cupboard and Kish’s food benefits, contact 815-825-9527 or Kody’s Cupboard is a year-round effort for students at the College. Donations of nonperishable items can be made to the food pantry and cash donations can be made through the Kishwaukee College Foundation.

Date posted: November 23, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Kody’s Cupboard helps provide Thanksgiving dinner for Kish students

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

Governor Pritzker and the General Assembly established the BIG program to provide relief to small businesses hit hard by the pandemic.  $540 million in grants are being awarded in funding rounds to small businesses to reimburse costs incurred due to COVID 19, with $270 million specifically for childcare & early learning providers.

$49 million in grants has been awarded to 2,800 businesses in Round 1.  In Round 2, $200 million of the remaining funds will be available to all small businesses statewide that experienced losses due to the pandemic.  $70 million will be invested in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs), and $60 million set aside for heavily impacted industries.

Eligible businesses include for-profit and nonprofit entities with $20 million or less in annual revenue in 2019 (annualized for businesses that started after January 2019) and experienced losses due to COVID 19.  Grant size will be calculated based on revenue losses and/or expenses over the last two months and will range from $5,000 to $150,000.  Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity has partnered with Accion and been accepting applications since September, 17.


Big Round 2_102120 Notes

Eligibility Requirements 9.17.20

Date posted: November 19, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Business Interruption Grant (BIG) Program Round 2 Now Accepting Applications

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News Regional Economic Updates

ComEd’s Small Business Assistance Program provides eligible small-business customers that are past due on their energy bills with a one-time grant equal to 30 percent of their total ComEd balance (up to $1,000) for a limited time. Customers whose electric service has not been disconnected can then set up their remaining balance due on a payment plan of up to six months.

Small-business customers can visit or call 1-877-4-COMED-1 (1-877-426-6331) to learn more or apply for the Small Business Assistance Program.

Earlier this week, ComEd announced its new Helping Hand program to provide more immediate aid to eligible residential customers most in need during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For a limited time, this financial-assistance program provides an additional one-time grant of up to $300 to help reduce past-due balances of income-eligible customers.

Assistance through the Helping Hand program is administered directly through ComEd, which expedites the verification process so that customers can receive grants more quickly. Residential customers can apply for Helping Hand grants at

For more details please go to

Date posted: November 13, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Newest ComEd Program Provides Bill Assistance to Struggling Small Businesses

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News Regional Economic Updates

The Illinois Department of Public Health, the DeKalb County Health Department, and NIU are partnering to offer free, drive-thru COVID-19 testing from Monday, Nov. 16, through Wednesday, Nov. 18, for any students, faculty, staff members, or DeKalb County residents who want to be tested prior to Thanksgiving.

Nasal swab testing will be available each day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Anderson Hall parking lot, and results will be available in four to seven days.

Additionally, NIU is asking test takers to consider the option of taking a second COVID-19 test that will be available at the drive-thru site. Dr. Elizabeth Gaillard, Director of the NIU Molecular Analysis Core Lab, and her team are continuing to develop and validate this new test in collaboration with private partners. To validate the test, hundreds of more samples are needed to be compared against the results of PCR tests. The new testing method involves a simple gargle and oral rinse.

Those who participate in the second test will be asked to complete a consent form and provide basic demographic information. Visit for more information. Thank you for your consideration.


Date posted: November 13, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on NIU Offering Free Drive-thru COVID-19 Testing Events

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

Kishwaukee College approved a reduced tax levy rate at this month’s Board of Trustees meeting. The primary reason the Board was able to lower the rate was that the College refinanced $48.5 million in general obligation bonds earlier this year.

“Because the College was able to take advantage of lower interest rates, the district taxpayers will save approximately $14 million over the life of the bonds, which extend to 2037,” said Kishwaukee College Chief Financial Officer Jill Hansen.

“The community invested in the students and Kishwaukee College committed to overseeing the responsible fiscal decisions of this monumental project,” said Bob Johnson, Chairman of the Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees. “The district’s tax levy rate is now at its lowest since 2011 as College leadership continues to find ways to reduce taxpayer costs and maintain a quality, affordable education for Kishwaukee students.”

Date posted: November 13, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Bond Refinancing Allows Kishwaukee College to Lower Tax Rate

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

Kishwaukee College is hosting virtual registration events on November 19, December 9, January 7 and 13, for students planning to attend Kish in the spring. The virtual registration events will begin at 9:00 am and be conducted through Zoom video conferencing.

The virtual registration event is for all new incoming students to assist with technology access, academic advising, and registration for the Spring 2021 semester. Sessions will include: setting up myKC, technology session and overview of the student portal, paying for college, and academic advising. The event is scheduled to conclude at 11:00 am, with individual academic advising appointments between 1:00 pm-4:00 pm.

To get the most out of the virtual registration events, students are encouraged to apply to Kish prior to the event. To apply, visit

For more information and to register for the virtual registration event, visit

Date posted: November 13, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Kish’s Virtual Registration Events for Spring 2021 Coming Soon

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

Support Local Restaurants – 10/13/20
Cortney Strohacker, DeKalb County Convention & Visitors Bureau and Matt Duffy, DeKalb Chamber of Commerce

Cortney Strohacker and Matt Duffy discuss DeKalb County UNITES’ campaign to support local restaurants. Enter your chance to win a local restaurant gift card by posting a picture of you supporting local restaurants on social media with the hashtag #dkcUNITES.



Date posted: October 15, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on New In the Loop Video—Support Local Restaurants

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations

The Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program is a multi-million program developed by Governor Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly to provide economic relief for small businesses hit hardest by COVID-19. BIG leverages federal funding provided by the CARES Act to help offset COVID-19 related losses for Illinois small businesses. Funding may be used to help businesses with working capital expenses, including payroll costs; rent; utilities; and other operational costs.

Applications for the second round of funding are now being accepted. A total of $220 million will be made available for small businesses of all types in Illinois. Grants will be awarded and funded on a rolling basis until funding is depleted. The grant size will be equivalent to two months of expenses.

The BIG program is open to all eligible businesses (for-profit and nonprofit) with $20 million or less in annual revenue in 2019 and experienced losses due to COVID-19. Of the total funding, $70 million will be invested in Disproportionately Impacted Areas (DIAs) and $60 million in heavily impacted industries. A map of the DIAs and the eligibility guidelines can be found on our website. The heavily impacted industries are defined as having annual revenues of $10 million or less and have been close or operating at a very diminished capacity since mid-March and are likely to continue to do so until Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois Plan. These industries include the following:

• Event spaces
• Music venues
• Performing arts venues
• Indoor recreation
• Amusement parks
• Movie theaters
• Museums
• Charter/shuttle buses

State Rep. Jeff Keicher and Tom Demmer will present at two webinars on Sept. 28th and 29th to discuss who is eligible, how to apply, and what you need to be successful.  

REGISTER for the Webinar on Sept. 28th

REGISTER for the Webinar on Sept. 29th

Date posted: September 28, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Business Interruption Grants Webinar for Northwestern Illinois

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

Jennifer Groce, Northern Illinois University and Matt Duffy, DeKalb Chamber of Commerce
​Matt Duffy and Jennifer Groce discuss 40TUDE, the new program that partners local marketing experts, industry-experienced faculty/instructors, and talented NIU students to help boost small businesses’ online presence.


Date posted: September 25, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on New In the Loop Video—40Tude

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations