This year marks the 125th Anniversary of Northern Illinois University.  A series of festivities have been planned for this year, to reflect on the past, while looking towards the future of the higher education learning institution that is situated in DeKalb, IL.

Established as a cornerstone of the community, NIU shares a great deal of its history with DeKalb County.  In May, the exhibition, “Crimson Days”, will open at the Ellwood House Museum, and a companion lecture, “constructing the Castle”, will be held on campus.   Both will highlight the contribution of the individuals behind the founding of the Northern Illinois State Normal School, its predecessor.  In July, an environmental art installation, “River Weaving,” will illuminate the surprising role played by the Kishwaukee River in the selection of DeKalb as home to the Normal School.

Throughout the year, there also will be proclamations and receptions at university conference centers expected around the region, and a week of events planned in Chicago. (See the full list of events here.)

DCEDC congratulates NIU on its many achievements throughout 125 years of dedication and perseverance.  DCEDC appreciates the significant investments NIU has made and continues to make. We are grateful for the close partnership with NIU and proudly look forward to the continued synergy with this stellar institution.

#workingtogether4better

#dekalbcountybottomlineperiod

Please click here to read the Daily Chronicle article

Date posted: January 17, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Northern Illinois University is celebrating 125 Years!

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

If you are looking for something to do, DeKalb County has it. Check out the DeKalb County Convention and Visitor Bureau’s 2020 Guide.

The current guide features cultural events, crafted brewers, wine cellars, a whiskey distillery, diverse cuisines to chose from, farm-to-table produce, open space, trails, forest preserves, a very rich history of farming, historic barn tours, museums, antiques, sports, recreation, with multiple transportation choices as well as comfortable and affordable hotels one can enjoy in the county throughout the year.

Some popular places of interest and entertainment include the Ellwood House Museum, the Egyptian Theatre, Northern Illinois University Athletics, arts and crafts, musical performances and museums.  Jonamac Orchard offers something for everyone, from small children to adults.  For those who enjoy the great outdoors, Lake Shabbona State Park is serene with abundant activities for all to enjoy.  The City of DeKalb hosts its popular Cornboil Festival each year. In Sandwich, the County Fair is a must, held in September. Car buffs can enjoy Cruise Night. The annual Pumpkin Festival in the fall is also a real crowd-pleaser.

In addition to the yearlong attractions, the Convocation Center will host the Mid-American Conference Wrestling Championships March 13-14, 2020 and the IHSA State Championship in 2021, as well as many musical performances.

Our county offers a leisure lifestyle of the farms mixed with rich cultural and intellectual ingredients.  According to the U.S. Travel Association, our county contributed to the state’s economic domestic growth in 2018 with $101.7 million in travel expenditures (a 2.9% increase) and $1.69 million in local tax revenue (a 1.5% increase). This marks the ninth consecutive year of growth.

DCEDC will be actively assisting the Convention and Visitors Bureau and other partners in promoting, presenting and preserving the unique features of our county.

 Click here to view DCCVB’s 2020 Guide.

Date posted: January 17, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Kick-off 2020 with DeKalb County!

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

On Wednesday, February 19th, from 10:00 AM 3:00 PM, Northern Illinois University will host a grand job fair at the Convocation Center for undergraduates and graduates of all majors.  As of January 13th, 112 employers have registered for the event, providing full-time, part-time and intern positions in manufacturing, logistics, information, engineering, consulting, financing, research, and education, non-profit organizations, retail, and marketing, etc.

The job fair is a tremendous resource and opportunity for employers to find highly skilled local talent.  The Internship fair proves to be a valuable outlet for the students to work and learn about their future careers and job markets, prior to their graduation from NIU.

To better prepare the candidates, NIU will also hold a Career Fair Prep Workshop on Tuesday, February 11th, focusing on tips for acceptable resume formats, communication, how to dress, etc.

Each year, NIU graduates a great number of highly skilled students.  It is our hope that these talented young professionals will remain in our county to help boost the local economy and build a stronger workforce foundation.  DCEDC wishes every student a successful experience in their careers.  We wish to thank NIU and the NIU Alumni Association for being key contributors and partners with DeKalb County on building a prosperous and vigorous area.

#workingtogether4better

Date posted: January 14, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Northern Illinois University to host Internship and Job Fair for all Majors

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

On February 18th, Kishwaukee College will host a free public session for individuals who would like to learn about various careers in the trades.  A panel of union trade members and Kishwaukee faculty members will present and offer a comprehensive Q. and A. session.

Represented Unions in Attendance:

  • Painters & Allied Trades
  • Plumbers & Pipefitters
  • Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers
  • Boiler Makers
  • Operating Engineers
  • Electrical Workers, IBEW
  • Bridge & Iron Workers
  • Project First Rate, Rockford
  • Department of Labor Apprenticeship & Training

See the flyer for details and parking information.

Date posted: January 9, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Explore the Trades with Kishwaukee College and Kick your Career into Gear!

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

This week, the County’s Economic Development Committee approved two amendments to foster an even stronger base for future industrial development within the county.

The first amendment allows the addition of 500 acres,  South of Gurler Road, between Illinois State Route 23, extending the property line east of Peace Road.  The modification will annex the property to the City of DeKalb, which will provide for utilities and an upgrade of Gurler Road. The additional acreage will create the inclusion of this large site for an extraordinary project located within the DeKalb County Enterprise Zone.

The second was an incentive amendment for the DeKalb Enterprise Zone Tax Abatement program.  It reduced property liability for a certain amount of time to encourage the creation of jobs, construction, and investment.  There’s also a clawback measure to ensure the expected performance of the projects.

DCEDC is a strong proponent of promoting economic development throughout DeKalb County and is excited to see continued growth, diversification and transformational growth.

DeKalb County’s Growth Article as published by the Daily Chronicle

Date posted: January 9, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on County’s Economic Development Committee advances 2 Amendments to the DeKalb County Enterprise Zone

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

In 2019, DeKalb County witnessed significant economic development that increases commercial services, supports population growth and expands the tax base. DCEDC’s Executive Director Paul Borek has listed out some of the projects that are adding to the prosperity taking place in DeKalb County communities.

Sycamore saw the erection of the new Meijer grocery store, the relocation/renovation of MorningStar Media Group, and the expansion of Chelsea McGhee Studios’.  In DeKalb, the Cornerstone DeKalb project was completed, the near completion of Plaza DeKalb and the beginning stages of construction began for Agora Tower.  Historical Egyptian Theatre saw major renovations, the expansion of Hometown Sports Bar & Grill and the construction of Home2 Suites by Hilton.  In Genoa, Dollar General completed a new store, Smoking Grill & Pizzeria expanded on the corner of Routes 72 and 23 and Gillerson’s Gastro Diner opened downtown.  In Kirkland, the Red Brick Inn Bar & Grill opened on Main Street.  Sandwich gained a new Burger King.

Other projects include Northern Illinois University’s remodeling the first floor of the Holmes Student Center, Kishwaukee College remodeled their Library and Academic Support Service Center.  Northwestern Medicine at Kishwaukee Hospital erected a state of the art Breast Health Center.  The DeKalb County Nursing Home & Rehab Center began an expansion, and the Family Service Agency relocated to their new facility that was completely renovated.

The steady growth that is taking place throughout the county is leading the way to a promising and prosperous new year.

DeKalb Daily Chronicle Article is available by clicking here.

Date posted: January 8, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on DeKalb County’s Commercial growth contributes to Community Development

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

Economic development news for the City of Sycamore, Illinois.

Meijer, the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based big-box retailer is advancing its construction in Sycamore, IL. The 159,264-square-foot building now has had the interior floor completed, the exterior all painted, the signage installed and a portion of the parking lot has been paved. The construction crew is working on all the mechanical for the interior and some of the finished site work.

The project was first announced in February 2017 and has been long-awaited. The wet spring of this year affected the construction for a while, but since then it has been on schedule. John Sauter, director of building and engineering for Sycamore, said whether they could finish it by the end of this year is weather dependent. He also said it should be completed next spring.

In addition to other exciting economic development projects taking place throughout DeKalb County, the new Meijer store will bring more convenience, traffic, style, vigor, and jobs to the City of Sycamore and surrounding communities throughout the county.

Thank you to Daily Chronicle for the picture.

READ WHOLE STORY

Date posted: December 7, 2019 | Author: | Comments Off on Sycamore’s Meijer Store Construction Progressing

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

The DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation Staff and Board of Directors, are saddened to learn of the passing of longtime supporter, board member, and former Mayor, Ken Mundy.

Ken was a man of fairness, equality, and a strong proponent of economic development.  He gave to others unselfishly.  He was all about the City that he served ever so genuinely and DeKalb County.  Mundy served on the DCEDC Board of Directors for several years, while in office.

Even after his retirement, he remained supportive and involved in economic development.

Mundy’s passing is an incredible loss to so many.  Rest in Peace friend.  You will be missed.

Remembering Mayor Ken

 

 

Date posted: December 5, 2019 | Author: | Comments Off on Remembering Mayor Ken Mundy……………..

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

DCEDC hosted the Annual Dinner and State of the County dinner event on November 21st. Local business leaders gathered together to hear Paul Borek, DCEDC Executive Director, Cohen Barnes, DCEDC President, and Tim Suter, President of the Suter Company, talk about the economic development of the county and how to make the area thrive.

Borek was happy to report DeKalb County is on the verge of attracting developments of significant size and impact that could begin to transform our economy. Two potential projects in the City of DeKalb, one of a 1.2 million-square-foot food distribution center and 460,000-square-foot packaging center, and another of a knowledge-based company, will generate substantial investment, jobs, and tax revenue. Some of the other projects include: K&M Tire, an Ohio-based distributor of passenger, light truck, commercial truck, and farm tires, is relocating to the former 3M building in DeKalb. Tech-Weld of Elburn has contracted to purchase a building in the Sycamore Prairie Business Park to triple the size of its operation in Elburn. The Suter Co. is expanding its Bethany Road Facility in the Sycamore Prairie Business Park with a two-story office addition, its fifth expansion in the past 12 years. Seymour of Sycamore has begun construction of a 30, 000-square-foot addition to its headquarters and manufacturing plant in Sycamore.

Barnes expressed satisfaction and hope about the ongoing forward-thinking progress that is taking place throughout the county. As President of DCEDC, Barnes has been tasked with the organization spearheading the DeKalb County Thriving! Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy which consists of 5 Goals:

• Ensure DeKalb County has a talent pipeline meeting the needs of workers and employers.
• Identify and recruit target industries.
• Create a countywide business climate in DeKalb County that contributes to business success.
• Brand and promote the “DeKalb County Experience” that focuses on the county’s unique assets.
• Collaborate countywide to maximize the economic health of all communities in DeKalb County.

He also thanked DCEDC for its work on fostering business recruitment, collaboration, and expansion. He expected DCEDC, through its public and private partnerships, to act more vigorously in moving the communities throughout the county toward prosperity.

In his keynote speech, Tim Suter introduced how his company serves its employees. In his family-owned business of about 80 years’ history, he is committed to turning it into a place the employees love to work. Facing the biggest challenge of staying unique and innovative in the food processing business, the Suter Company focuses on its staff and finds strength in employees’ engagement and involvement.

This year’s event was highly successful, with more than 250 guests in attendance.  DCEDC is grateful for its members who generously sponsored the event.

To read the full article published in the Daily Chronicle click on the linkDCEDC Annual Dinner Coverage 11222019

Borek’s Report of 2019

Thumbs Up of 2019

Date posted: November 27, 2019 | Author: | Comments Off on Business Investment-DeKalb County Thriving! DCEDC’s Annual Dinner Event

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

There is a large variety of shows with thousands of exhibitors each week at McCormick Place in Chicago, but for people who like to make things, the Fab Tech show held every other year is a one to be highlighted. Whether you are looking for new equipment, the latest techniques, expanding your business or (as in our case) investigating career paths and the size of the industry – Fab-Tech is a Must-See Event!

The latest in welding equipment from multi-function to specialized equipment is on display. Laser cutting systems and water jet cutting equipment abound. “Hands-on” displays that allow you to “try-out” the equipment along with technical instruction is available at nearly every booth. If the final finish is your forte, every imaginable technique is there for your observation.

Safety displays and equipment teach you to work safely within the industry. 3-D printing from the smallest to the largest is on display. Industry software is at every corner.

This year the students from the Kishwaukee Education Consortium’s Welding Classes attended Fab-Tech on Tuesday, November 12th. Rochelle Township started the school day at 5:30 am. Despite the early hour, all were present and ready for action. Lightsabers, pens, hats, money clips and carry bags made it onto the bus for the return trip, however, the most important thing was the WOW factor that the students felt. Equipment that they had only seen in magazines was on display. People from the “youtube” training video were there to talk to them. Techniques that they read about or saw a video on was operating for them to observe. To a person, they all thought that the time they invested in going to Fab-Tech was worthwhile and that they would go again.

On Thursday, November 14th Mr. Elliott’s Metals class from DeKalb High School attended the show. Once again, the bus left pretty early in order to endure the traffic of Chicago. Due to our attendance in previous years, we were invited to go to the “Student Summit” presented by SME to promote STEM, manufacturing and specifically the designing and fabrication industry.

The students were broken into teams, given projects, scored on each segment and competed against other teams from other schools. The DeKalb group was placed in the “A” group which had three challenges. Fly a UAV – design a propeller in “Soft Works” and build a DC motor driven by a nine-volt battery.

A UVA is an “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle” aka a drone. While one might view these as toys, however, they are widely used in civilian as well as military life. Some students never flew one and others had some experience. A licensed “pilot” was there to instruct and make sure things went smoothly. Getting all the team members through the exercise was just as important as being able to fly through the hoop and land. Talk about manual dexterity – whew!

Designing a functional propeller was the next challenge. Subject Matter Experts were available to help, but understanding design software was a big help. Following the instructions, design criteria and testing the efficiency in a software program were the scoring sources. The pictures above show the intensity of the work and the assistance available.

Finally, the last challenge was to build an operational DC motor. A reward for winning the competition was a $100 gift card for each member of the team. Below are pictures of this event.

Following the competition, the students entered the show floor and visited with vendors and exhibitors. The students were intrigued by the digital tubing benders because numerous fuel lines and exhaust pipes returned to DeKalb. Once again the students were excited by variety of careers that they saw and the equipment on display.

Due to the popularity of Fab-Tech, the 2021 show will be held in September.

Gene Fogle

Workforce Development Coordinator

Date posted: November 27, 2019 | Author: | Comments Off on Adventures at Fab Tech with DeKalb-Ogle Workforce Development Consortium

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News