Through the synergy, support, and loyalty of its members and partner, DCEDC has been able to successfully attract record-breaking new business investments from phenomenal companies like Facebook, Ferrara Candy, and Syngenta, despite the challenges of the global pandemic during the last year.  Investment of $975 million in the construction of over 3 million square feet of buildings began in 2020. Projects included the hyper-scale Facebook data center campus and the Ferrara Candy Company packaging and distribution complex in DeKalb, and the Syngenta agricultural research and development center in Malta. These projects will diversify our economy by adding innovative and fast-growing sectors to our business community. DCEDC also contributed and was an important co-partner in DeKalb County UNITES, a grass-root movement created to assist DeKalb County small businesses during the onset of COVID.  DCEDC was fortunate to co-partner on this important initiative with Northern Illinois University.

This year, to leverage the recent successes, we are pleased to introduce the Opportunity Unbound branding and communications program, designed to promote DeKalb County around the world to accelerate business development, job creation, and talent attraction. To learn more about Opportunity Unbound, view the Sneak Peek video below. We welcome your observations and questions about this important initiative. Call Paul Borek, DCEDC executive director, at or 815-895-2711 with your feedback.

With our community members and partners, DCEDC is aware of all that DeKalb County has to offer, and it is time that we tell this story. We are committed to building for the future alongside our local businesses, institutions, and governmental bodies. DCEDC respectfully requests new and current members to be generous in supporting its annual operating campaign. We invite new businesses and others to invest in DCEDC for the first time. To contribute to DCEDC, visit or contact Karen Hoyle at or 815-895-2711.

DCEDC thanks all its members and partners for their long-time support.  We celebrate the recent transformational success in economic development with everyone in DeKalb County and appreciate your contribution to an even greater quality of life.

View the Sneak Peek video about Opportunity Unbound

Read the full article by Paul Borek

Date posted: March 2, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on 975 million reasons to contribute to DCEDC

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations

The Kishwaukee College Foundation announced the student scholarship recipients for Spring 2021. The Foundation awarded 200 scholarships to a total of $124,934.  Scholarship funds are made possible through generous gifts from members of the community, local business and industry, and area agencies and associations. Students are selected on a competitive basis according to each scholarship’s specific requirements.

DCEDC congratulates these honorable students and wishes them greater success in their academics and lives.

The online application process for the Fall 2021 Kishwaukee College Foundation scholarships will be open from Monday, Feb. 22 to Wednesday, March 31. For more information on Foundation scholarships, contact the Kishwaukee College Foundation at 815-825-9803 or visit

View the full list of the recipients: FOU-Spring 2021 Scholarship Recipients

Date posted: February 11, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on Kish College Foundation announces Spring 2021 scholarship recipients

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations

February is Financial Aid Awareness Month and Kishwaukee College is reminding students there is still time to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Filing the FAFSA is the first step in determining what federal or state financial aid a student is eligible for, including grants and loans. Illinois now requires by law that all high school students complete the FAFSA as a prerequisite to receiving their diploma.

The 2021-2022 FAFSA application period opened in October and is ongoing. It will determine financial aid for students during the Fall 2021, Spring 2022, and Summer 2022 semesters.

A student’s financial aid is determined by their family’s ability to pay for college. Additional funds may be available based on other merits such as academic ability, athletic talent, or other skills. There are many different forms of financial aid students can qualify for, including:

  • Grants — A form of financial aid that does not have to be paid back. Various federal and state grants are available.
  • Scholarships — Students can earn free money based on academic merits, talents, or other skills.
  • Work-Study Jobs — Students work a part-time job to pay for school through the Federal Work-Study Program.
  • Loans — Loans are borrowed money students will need to repay with interest.
  • Military Aid — Members of the military and their families can qualify for additional aid programs for their service.

People filing FAFSA for the first time should visit to create a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID), which will be required to submit the FAFSA electronically. For dependent students, at least one parent will also need to complete the FSA ID.  Students and parents should have on hand their 2019 tax return and income information, their social security numbers, and driver’s license/state ID or alien registration card.

To learn more about the financial aid process or to receive FAFSA assistance, contact Kish’s Financial Aid Office at or visit

Date posted: February 9, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on Kish reminds students to fill out the FAFSA during Financial Aid Awareness Month

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations

COVID-19 grants, in the amount of $500, will soon be available to local small businesses thanks to a partnership between Kishwaukee College, the Waubonsee Community College Small Business Development Center, and First Midwest Bank.

Funds are limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Information about the grant process can be found at or by contacting LaCretia Konan, Kishwaukee College Director of Workforce & Community Education, at

Thanks to Kish, SBDC, and First Midwest Bank for supporting the small businesses!

Date posted: January 26, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on Kish College partnership to provide COVID-19 grants to local small businesses

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

DCEDC congratulates Sycamore City Manager Brian Gregory, on being named the next DeKalb County Administrator, effective March 1st.  Gregory has been actively engaged with DCEDC as our longtime Executive Board of Director, chairing our Finance Committee while actively supporting our work.  During his tenure as the City Manager of Sycamore, Gregory has been devoted and committed to the development and prosperity of the City.

We look forward to continued engagement with Brian in his new role at DeKalb County, and his continued leadership on the DCEDC Executive Board of Directors.


Date posted: January 22, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on Congratulations to Sycamore city manager Brian Gregory officially named new DeKalb County administrator

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

A high-paying career is not out of reach. Kishwaukee College’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth Program is looking to help local students bolster their employment skills and find new career opportunities. The program offers out-of-school youth ages 16-24 years old an opportunity to participate in training that will assist them in obtaining employment.

The WIOA Program is a federally funded grant geared towards helping qualified individuals gain the professional skills necessary to learn a new career. Through the grant, Kish can offer up to $10,000 based on eligibility. Funding can go towards books, tuition, supplies, and other services to help with education. Mileage and child care reimbursement may also be available. Residents from the city of DeKalb may automatically qualify for the Youth Program due to the city’s overall poverty rate.

There is a list of more than 60 programs available at Kish covered by WIOA funding. Students can work towards a degree or certificate or enter the workforce right away with a short-term training program. Some popular programs include:

  • Basic Nurse Assisting
  • Google IT
  • Truck Driving Training
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Medical Assistant
  • And many more

The support is not limited to the classroom. Students can gain real-world experience through job shadowing. And these connections give those seeking work an opportunity to impress employers. Kish offers career counseling and support and the ability to match job-seekers with local businesses based on their skillset.

To learn more about Kish’s WIOA Youth Program, contact Phylicia Hampton, WIOA Youth Coordinator, at 815-825-9384 or

Date posted: January 5, 2021 | Author: | Comments Off on WIOA funds available for local job-seekers at Kish College

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

DeKalb County attracted $975 million of capital investment during 2020.

This volume more than doubled the previous record of over $404 million investment during 2009. This investment will result in the construction, acquisition, or leasing of more than 3 million square feet of space.

Most of this development has taken shape at the ChicagoWest Business Center along I-88 south of the Peace Road interchange, extending west to Route 23.

2020 began with Ferrara Candy’s announcement of the nearly 1.7 million square feet of development on 106 acres in the ChicagoWest Business Center north of Gurler Road.

This development included a 1.2-million-square-foot distribution center and a 468,000-square-foot packaging center. Capital investment exceeded $120 million for these two facilities. Job creation is projected to be 500 for the two operations.

On June 30, Facebook announced the development of a 907,000-square-foot data center on an expansive 505-acre site south of Gurler Road. Capital investment in this data center campus is $800 million.

The DeKalb Data Center will be among the most advanced, energy- and water-efficient data center facilities in the world, supporting an estimated 100 operational jobs and hundreds of construction jobs.

According to Facebook, DeKalb was chosen as the site for its newest data center due to its access to renewable energy, a strong talent pool, higher education institutions, community partners, and strong infrastructure.

The leadership, collaboration and expedited actions of the City of DeKalb development team led by City Manager Bill Nicklas were key to these developments. This included municipal utilities, public utilities, and numerous governmental bodies whose affirmative votes approved the public actions required to attract Ferrara Candy and Facebook.

The ChicagoWest Business Center team, led by Krusinski Construction Co., worked with the City of DeKalb, Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District, Ferrara Candy, and Facebook on the construction of infrastructure required to serve these developments. This included nearly 3 miles of water lines, 1.5 miles of sewer extension, and repaving local roads.

Also, in June, Syngenta announced the development of a Seed Research & Development, Innovation, and Customer Experience Center at an 88-acre site on Route 38 in Malta. The facility will showcase leading seed and digital technologies and spotlight Syngenta’s product development through on-farm collaboration with growers.

The 87,000-square-foot multi-building complex will include offices, labs, greenhouses, an auditorium, and a warehouse and field test plots. Capital investment is projected to be $24 million. The operation is projected to generate 80 to 120 jobs. According to Syngenta, the site was selected for its location, soil type, and accessibility.

Conserv FS announced plans for a significant expansion to its Waterman service center. The company proposes to construct a new dry fertilizer facility, a new liquid storage facility, a crop protection building, and a blending system.

The project is contingent on the addition of 4 acres of land to the DeKalb County Enterprise Zone, approved by DeKalb County and municipal partners, and under review by the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. Future elements include a dry fertilizer bagging facility, a new maintenance shop, and a larger office to accommodate the increased business volume.

Wehrli Custom Fabrication will begin construction of a new headquarters, manufacturing, and distribution facility on a 10-acre site on the north side of Harvestore Drive at Enterprise Drive. Wehrli designs, fabricates, and distributes performance equipment for street and racing pick-up trucks.

K & M Tire, an Ohio-based distributor of passenger, light truck, commercial truck, and farm tires, has begun operation at the 2600 Wirsing Parkway building.

BC Logistics leased the remaining 48,000 square feet of space in the 711 Fairview Drive building in Park 88 to distribute food products for a client.

The Suter Co. completed the expansion of its Bethany Road facility in the Sycamore Prairie business park with a new two-story office addition.

Ignatius Press completed a 56,525 square-foot expansion of its media production and distribution facility in the Sycamore Prairie Business Park.

Innovative Growers has expanded to occupy 250,000 square feet of space in the Sycamore Industrial Park. The company designs, engineers and manufactures greenhouse benches and display racks serving commercial growers and garden center retailers.

Nicor Gas Co. is constructing a new 21,000-square-foot service center in the Krpan Thanks America industrial subdivision in Sycamore.

We congratulate all community, business, institutional and nonprofit partners on the extraordinary success of 2020!


• Paul Borek is executive director of the DeKalb County Economic Development Corp.

Date posted: December 22, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Borek: Facebook heads 2020 lineup of record-breaking industrial development

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

The Facebook Data Center coming to DeKalb will be a lasting impact for many years to come. In addition to Facebook’s investment of $800 million into a 907,000-square-foot facility, the 12th Facebook Data Center in the United States, the Facebook DeKalb Data Center also brings additional support to the community.

Working with the DeKalb Chamber to provide some financial support for local small businesses, Facebook has pledged $10,000 towards the Small Business Member Assistance Fund. The DeKalb Chamber’s Small Business Members Assistance Fund provides assistance to local small businesses that are up against challenges never seen. The funds can be used for expenses that a small business would normally incur, including expenses such as membership dues, promotional e-blasts, sponsorships, program registration, and event registrations. The funds can be requested by completing a simple form found on the DeKalb Chamber website ( and are reviewed on a weekly basis as long as funds are available.

“Since breaking ground on our DeKalb Data Center in June, we’ve been so fortunate to call DeKalb County home,” said Matt Sexton, Community Development Regional Manager for Facebook. “We are excited to end 2020 by supporting local small businesses and the great work of our local partners. We look forward to building and expanding our partnerships in DeKalb County for many years to come.”

The DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC) has been promoting DeKalb County globally and bringing companies like Facebook to our community. In an effort to expedite the funds to the local small businesses, the DCEDC will be working with Facebook and the DeKalb Chamber to make these funds available as quickly as possible which is a testament to the continued and collaborative efforts of the DeKalb County UNITES small business COVID-19 response initiative.

If any business or individual would like to contribute to the DeKalb Chamber Small Business Member Assistance Fund, contact the Chamber office to make your donation to help local small businesses through this challenging time.

For more information visit or contact the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce at 815-756-6306.

Date posted: December 22, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Facebook Donates to DeKalb Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Fund COVID-19 Relief Effort

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

Sophomore Ahmed Elfaki was seated as the new Student Trustee on the Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees at the December meeting. Elfaki will finish the term of outgoing Student Trustee Dakota Montavon.

Elfaki’s journey to Kish started after his family sought refuge from Sudan, where Elfaki was born and raised.

“My family and I moved to the United States to seek asylum in the summer of 2016 after conditions in Sudan became unsuitable for a good living,” he said. “We were interested in moving to the United States because there are a lot of opportunities for a better life.”

Elfaki graduated from Sycamore High School in 2019 and said he chose Kish for its affordability and strong foundational education. He is studying engineering science and noted an interest in taking advantage of Kish’s transfer program with Northern Illinois University upon graduating.

Elfaki is currently a member of the Black Student Union, Diversity Officer of the Student Government Association, and a member of the Diversity Committee. He previously was a member of the LatinX organization and played on the men’s soccer team.

“I hope to make the student’s life at Kish more engaging and unchallenging,” he said. “My number one goal is to increase student involvement at Kish and to be the accurate voice to the students and actively pursue their needs.”

The Illinois Community College Act provides that each Illinois Community College shall elect one student to the Board for a one-year term. Montavon, a DeKalb native, will graduate this December. He said he is proud he was able to serve as a representative for the students of Kish.

“I’ve learned that there are a lot of important matters that go into running a community college, but it’s incredibly important not to lose sight of the student’s experience and how to improve it,” Montavon said.

One initiative Montavon said he would like to see continued was the work with the College’s food pantry, Kody’s Cupboard, and sees room for growth to better help meet student needs.

During his time at Kish, Montavon was involved with the English Honor Society Club, Phi Theta Kappa, National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) and the Performing Arts Club on campus. He also served as a peer mentor for TRIO student support services.









(Caption: Dakota Montavon served as the Kishwaukee College Student Trustee until graduating this fall.)

Date posted: December 21, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Kish seats new Student Trustee Ahmed Elfaki

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network serves thousands of entrepreneurs, start-ups, and second-stage small businesses throughout Illinois every year. The services provided by Illinois SBDCs, SBDC International Trade Centers (ITC), and Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC) set the stage for personal and professional growth, which directly impacts our local economies for the better.

The SBDC at Waubonsee Community College is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Through the SBDC, small business owners, both prospective and existing, can obtain essential management, marketing, and financial coaching. We offer no-cost one-on-one coaching and a wide variety of low-cost events and workshops to help make your business a success.

Two free webinar series—“Starting Your Business in Illinois” and “Business Killers” will begin on Jan. 7th and Jan. 14th, 2021.






Date posted: December 17, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on The SBDC at Waubonsee Community College offering Free Coaching Webinars for Small Businesses

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News