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 phampton1@kish.edu.

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 (www.DeKalb.org) 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 dekalb.org 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

Kishwaukee College will offer all full-time students a $500 scholarship during the Spring 2021 semester to help offset financial hardships related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Board of Trustees approved the new scholarship at their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday night.

The $500 scholarship will help cover the cost of tuition and fees. There is no scholarship application required to apply. All students registered for 12 or more credit hours will receive the one-time scholarship if they are registered by Monday, Jan. 18, 2021.

Funds will be distributed during the first week of February. Full-time enrollment status will be verified before scholarships are awarded.

Kishwaukee College will be offering most courses online during the Spring 2021 semester for the protection and safety of students, faculty, staff, and the community. Some select classes will take place in a hybrid format, which has a face-to-face component.


To learn more about the Spring 2021 Relief Scholarship, visit www.kish.edu/spring21relief.

Date posted: December 9, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Kish to Offer $500 Scholarship to Help Students in Financial Hardships

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

Northern Illinois University has planned three virtual campus recruiting events in February 2021: All-Majors Internship & Job Fair on Feb. 17, Education Job Fair on Feb. 22, Government, Public & Social Services, Health & Wellness Fair on Feb. 25.

The job fairs are open to undergraduates, graduating seniors, graduate students, alumni, and non-NIU candidates. They are free for candidates to attend. Candidates do not need to pre-register.  Over 200 employers will take the opportunity to find and hire new talents for internships,  full-time positions, and part-time positions.

For candidates to look for helpful tips to prepare for the fairs and a list of registered employers: visit your Huskies Get Hired account or www.gethired.niu.edu; email careerservices@niu.edu; or call (815) 753-1641.

For employers to book for a virtual booth, NIU Employer Partners please sign in at Log in to Huskies Get Hired; New Employers to NIU please sign up at Log in to Huskies Get Hired.

DCEDC wishes great success to the job fairs and good luck to all the candidates!



Date posted: December 9, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on NIU Spring Recruiting Events Scheduled in February

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

Kishwaukee College will receive a grant of $225,000 from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to make renovations and relocate the Early Learning Center — a project with an estimated cost of $350,000.  Both Keicher and state Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) were instrumental in helping the College secure funding for the project.

The development will repurpose space in the existing Campus Operations Building on the northwest side of campus. The grant will allow for the conversion of the former print shop into an updated and safe space for the children attending the ELC.  Work on the project is already underway and Kishwaukee College expects construction to be complete by Summer 2021.

The new space will allow Kish to increase its enrollment and child care services to better meet the community’s needs. The ELC currently serves children ages 2-5. The relocation will allow for potential future expansion of care for children ages infant to 2.

The ELC is accredited by the National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs and has achieved Gold Circle of Quality rating in the ExceleRate Illinois Quality Rating and Improvement System administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services. For more information on enrolling a child at Kish’s ELC, contact ELC Director Maria Lombardo at 815-825-9781 or mlombardo@kish.edu or visit www.kish.edu/elc.

Date posted: December 4, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Kish awarded state grant for Early Learning Center renovation

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

Nonprofit and charitable organizations interested in applying for a grant from the DeKalb County Community Foundation are invited to a free workshop on January 13 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Attendees will learn valuable tips and strategies to increase their chances of receiving funding from the Community Foundation’s various grant programs, as well as hear about some exciting new initiatives.  Attendees will leave with a better understanding of the Community Foundation including grant programs, Fund types, community initiatives, and how they all work together to benefit the community.  The workshop is led by the Community Foundation staff and will provide ample time for questions.



Date posted: December 4, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on DCCP’s Grant Seekers Workshop Opens on Jan 13th

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

Kishwaukee College will offer a variety of free classes for English Language Learners and those seeking their High School Equivalency/GED (in English or Spanish) this spring.

ESL classes are available for beginning, intermediate, and advanced English learners. Classes emphasize speaking, listening, reading, and writing in English.

Citizenship classes will start in April.  This course will cover an overview of the information relevant to the U.S. Citizenship test and citizenship process including American history and government.

High School Equivalency classes prepare students to take the GED. Subject areas covered in class include reading, writing, social studies, science, math, and the U.S. Constitution. These classes emphasize practical applications of the subjects and the total development of the learner. Enrollment for all these classes is happening now through January 20, 2021.

For more information, including the registration process and class times and locations, visit www.kish.edu/adulteducation. To reserve your spot for registration, contact Mari Vesey, administrative assistant for adult education, at mvesey@kish.edu or 815-825-9420.  Registration sizes are limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Date posted: December 2, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Kish Adult Education Classes Open for Spring 2021

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News