Students and their families are invited to attend an Open House at the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, on the Northern Illinois University Campus.

This Saturday, beginning at 8:45 am to 4:00 pm, at the NIU Engineering Building, students and their parents can tour the college’s three facilities and 40 research and teaching labs, including a live 3D printer in action, a wind tunnel in operation, and a 100-level clean lab.  The faculty, students and advisors will be on hand to talk about degree options, transfer information, and admission.  Did you know the CEET at Northern Illinois University is ranked 38th out of 200 US programs?

This is a fantastic way to find out about technology and relevant career choices. Take the opportunity to learn about CEET’s education programs emphasizing hands-on experiences for students.

Thank you Northern Illinois University College of Engineering & Engineering Technology for hosting this event.



Date posted: February 27, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on This Saturday: Open House Day at the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology

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

Speaker:      Adam Grubbs, Management Intern of the City of DeKalb
Summary:   The 2020 census is upon us, and participation is more important than ever.

Watch Adam Grubbs explains why participating is important, and how it affects our city and county.


Date posted: February 24, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on New In the Loop Video: 2020 Census

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations

On February 12th, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced that he’s been awarded $500 million in the capital funding for the Discovery Partners Institute and the Illinois Innovation Network.  The fund earmarks $25 million for NIU’s Center for Community Sustainability (Northern Illinois Center for Community Sustainability, NICCS).

The Illinois Innovation Network consists of 15 research centers tapping on economic development and global issues through innovation and partnerships with local businesses, farmers and communities.  NICCS is a part of NIU’s new partnership with the Illinois Innovation Network.  Announced in October 2018, the $23 million dollars, 30,000 square-foot research facility is expected to be open by 2023, with construction to begin in 2021.

Northern Illinois University President, Dr. Lisa Freeman stated the mission of NICCS as creating locally-based innovative solutions focused on improving food systems and water resource management in a world facing shrinking natural resources, climate change, and increasing urbanization.

DCEDC wishes to congratulate our partner NIU.  We look forward to continuing our work together.  We strongly support this important initiative that will provide transformational opportunities for DeKalb County, Illinois.

Click here to read the article, as published by the Daily Chronicle.

Date posted: February 17, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on NIU Research Center Awarded $15M in State Funds

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

Old Navy is returning to the Oakland Place shopping center in DeKalb after eight years away and plans to be open around the back-to-school season.  It formerly occupied the location between Michael’s and T. J. Maxx in the Oakland Place shopping center from 2002 to 2012.

Paul Shand, director of retail properties with Cleveland-based Mid-American Management Corporation which owns this part of the mall, was excited about this and confident in the market prospect for Old Navy’s decision to return.  He also thought that with the tenant mix from DSW to Five Below to T. J. Maxx, the shopping center is set to be the best in class shopping.

The statistics show that people still do much more retail shopping than online shopping.  We are happy about the opening of new stores and restaurants along our main commercial road to offer more experiences and enjoyment to the residents.

Click here to read the full article, as published by the Daily Chronicle.  

Date posted: February 14, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Old Navy is Returning to DeKalb

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

In Ferrara’s finalization about selecting DeKalb as the site for its $100 million dollar distribution and packing center, DCEDC is grateful to the teamwork and partnerships with the City of DeKalb administration, DeKalb County administration and county board members, ChicagoWest Business Center, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and Illinois State Representatives Jeff Keicher, R-Sycamore, Tom Demmer, R-Dixon, to secure state and local incentives through the DeKalb County Enterprise Zone to attract Ferrara.  DeKalb County, the communities and the taxing bodies that participate in the DeKalb County Enterprise Zone are to be commended on a job, very well done.

Abundant utility capacity from ComEd, Nicor Gas Co., the City of DeKalb, the Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District, and congestion-free access to the Midwest transportation network are essential to large-scale industrial development and national distribution operations.  Northern Illinois University and Kishwaukee College are both strong allies, who will provide support for the high-quality labor force in the County.

Finally, developer Trammell Crow Company and general contractor Krusinski Construction Company’s diligent and resourceful investment made the ChicagoWest Business Center “shovel- ready” for mega-developments like the Ferrara Candy Company.

Click here to read the Market Place article as published in the Daily Chronicle

Date posted: February 11, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Teamwork, makes Dreamwork

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

Spring is a time for bloom and growth. As midwesterners, we anxiously await for spring to arrive! DeKalb County is poised for a significant boost in new jobs, as a result of the Ferrara Candy Company committing to the City of DeKalb for their new distribution center, and Grand Rapids, Michigan-based grocer Meijer, will soon open its doors in the City of Sycamore near the intersection of Peace Road and Route 23. DeKalb County is about to see a flourishment in employment soon.

Ferrara will invest $100 million dollars in a 1.6 million-square-foot distribution, and 466,000 square-foot food packaging center at the site of ChicagoWest Business Center between Route 23 and Gurler Road.  The investment will bring about 1,000 temporary construction jobs, with the first 500 permanent jobs around March 2021 when the distribution center is projected to be ready.  Another 500 permanent jobs will staff the packing center.

Meijer, the Michigan-based big-box retailer, has announced it is looking to fill 300 jobs.  Another not-yet-announced knowledge-based company is also interested in DeKalb’s south side and could bring 100 to 200 high-paying technology jobs.

All these projects and investments will cast an optimistic long-term projection of the local economy as DeKalb Mayor Jerry Smith called Ferrara’s confirmation a “catalyst for even further economic development”.  It’s a good season for people who are looking for a job and maybe a difficult time for employers who look to fill their vacancies.  The job opportunities are continuing to grow as the unemployment rate has reached the decades’ low of 3.6% for the whole country at the beginning of 2020 and 3.9% for the county in Dec. 2019.

DCEDC continues working with our Business Retention and Expansion Subcommittee and our CEDS Talent Pipeline Subcommittee to promote job recruitment and training resources.  We are optimistic that the work of our subcommittees will assist all of the DeKalb County businesses with the right tools and channels for securing the talent they need.

Click here to read the full articles as published in the Daily Chronicle

Date posted: February 10, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Now Hiring-A boom in DeKalb County job prospects

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

The DeKalb Workforce Development Office has some exciting updates to share with all for February.

February 11th and 25th from 11 am to 12 pm, they will be hosting CDL information sessions. This is open to anyone interested in starting a career in the trucking industry.

February 14th, 21st, and 28th, from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm, they will be conducting basic computer literacy classes geared towards special topics like general typing and Microsoft Office applications. This is also open to the public.

They are still holding weekly WIOA Orientations every Wednesday from 10:00 am to 11:00 am. If anyone would like to learn more about participating in the WIOA program, this is a great time to do so.

Finally, the weekly workshop series takes place every Wednesday from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Date posted: February 3, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on DeKalb Workforce Development Sessions in February

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

Great news for DeKalb County.  Chicago-based Ferrara Candy Company announced on Friday, Jan. 31st, that they are investing $100 million dollars to build a 1.6 million-square-foot distribution facility, after months of consideration and contact with the city, county officials, and DCEDC. The distribution and packing center will be located within the ChicagoWest Business Center on DeKalb’s south side.  With Ferrara’s commitment, they are expected to bring 1,000 temporary construction jobs and 1,000 full-time jobs once the build-out is completed.

DCEDC is thrilled by the news and wants to congratulate the City and the County on the promising opportunities this transformational project will lead to.  We also want to thank all the community leaders and partners from the County and the supporters from the State of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for the cooperation and relentless efforts in attracting, expanding and retaining local businesses.

A not-yet-announced knowledge-based company is also interested in the ChicagoWest business park and could bring 100 to 200 high-paying, technology jobs.  As Mayor Smith called this announcement a catalyst for even further economic development, we believe in the potentials and resources that DeKalb County has for economic prosperity and community development.

The future of DeKalb County is very bright. DCEDC recognizes the importance of working as a team with the public and private sectors as we continue to champion diversified and sustainable business attraction, expansion, and retention for the foundation of the county.

Click here to read the full article as published in the Daily Chronicle. Continue reading A Sweet Future Unfolding

Date posted: February 3, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on A Sweet Future Unfolding

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

A founding economic development partner and member, First National Bank, welcomes new leadership, locally.  Stan Free has been named the Regional Vice President of Community Banking.  Frank Roberts and John Kretchmer have been promoted to Managing Directors and will oversee relationship managers in several communities.  The new team has rich experience and a deep commitment to community development.  With the new team’s expertise, the Nebraska-based bank will further focus on and promote business growth in the multiple communities in which they serve.

First National Bank has always been a generous supporter and key leader in our community development.   It has played an important role in the history of the County and will continue to do so in growing our local economy. DCEDC is proud to have Frank Roberts serve on our Executive Board.  Frank currently presides as Secretary/Treasurer of DCEDC.  We have witnessed first hand, Frank’s hard work, dedication, compassion, and selfless devotion to the community and our organization.  Frank has an innate ability to communicate effectively.  We consider this to be one of his many strengths.

DCEDC proudly congratulates Free, Roberts, Kretchmer and First National Bank on the new leadership, and wish all much-continued success with fruitful outcomes.

Read the full article as published in the Daily Chronicle

Date posted: January 31, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Congratulations First National Bank Leaders

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

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.



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