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News and Updates
The Economic Alliance works dilligently to report in a timely manner on things like local business expansion, new business development, new and enhanced development incentives, economic news and other items of interest to our community investors and investor prospects.
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Thursday, February 23, 2017
Plochman’s Partners with U of I Engineering for Iconic Squeeze Bottle R&D
As the company celebrates 165 years of mustard making – and 20 years at its Manteno, Illinois, headquarters – Plochman’s Mustard is investing in the future through the collaboration of education and industry. This spring, Plochman’s is joining with a team University of Illinois Engineering students to analyze the design, process and distribution of their products. The project is focused on packaging optimization of the company’s iconic barrel-shaped yellow mustard bottle.
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Kankakee County Positioned in Top 10 Nationally for Millennial Growth
A report issued January 23 by leading location advisory, economic incentive and corporate real estate services firm Site Selection Group places the Kankakee Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) – which shares boundaries with Kankakee County – among the nation’s top 10 metros positioned for growth of the millennial demographic. Using data provided by Claritas, Dallas-based SSG’s “The Best Metro Areas for a Talent Pipeline” forecasts that the Kankakee MSA will experience 6.1% growth of the millennial population – classified by the firm as the post-college population under 35 – from 2016 to 2021.
Monday, January 23, 2017
Food Innovator FutureCeuticals Expands Momence, Illinois, Headquarters
Leading food innovator FutureCeuticals Inc. announced last week a $2 million, 14,700 square foot expansion of its headquarters operation in the Greater Chicago community of Momence, Illinois. According to the company, which holds more than 50 patents for functional food ingredients, the additional space will house its 50 to 60 member sales, customer service and marketing force. Another 20 to 30 employees are expected to be hired within the next 12 to 24 months.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
2016 Major Projects Yield More Than $120M in Capital Investment
In terms of growth in the local industrial, institutional, military, utility, multifamily residential, infrastructure and commercial markets, 2016 projects announcements in Kankakee County in 2016 are projected to yield $120,700,000 in capital investment, 699,290 square feel of new space and 904 new jobs.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
NEXT50 to Showcase Manufacturing and Logistics Jobs
NEXT50 Open House and Expo is happening Dec. 2 from 4-7p.m. at Kankakee Community College’s Manufacturing and Industrial Technology Center. It’s free and open to the public. High school students, parents, teachers and guidance counselors are highly encouraged to attend. Refreshments will be served, including Johnsonville brats.
Tuesday, November 01, 2016
THRIVE Technology Edition Released
The 2016-17 Technology Edition of THRIVE magazine has been released by the Daily Journal, in partnership with the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County.
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Aqua America Consolidates Call Center Operations in Kankakee, Illinois
National water and wastewater provider Aqua America has consolidated call center operations in the Greater Chicago community of Kankakee, Illinois. In September, the utility completed an expansion at the Downtown Kankakee Clock Tower Centre that doubled its space as well as local employment. This site has assumed the operations previously conducted at a now-vacated Pittsburgh call center.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
2016-17 Kankakee County Top Industries FTE Report Shows Continued Job Growth
Updated full-time employee counts for Kankakee County’s top 60 manufacturers, logistics firms and institutions were released today by the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County. The Alliance has been tracking FTE count since 2010, reporting annually for local and prospective industrial and commercial developers. “The employee numbers that we track represent 15,641 jobs, which is approximately 30 percent of our county’s total employment as of August 2016,” explained Alliance President and CEO Tim Nugent. “Preliminarily, we are showing year-over-year growth of 200 jobs. This is fairly consistent with the most recent Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) employment report, which indicated year-over-year growth of 500 jobs for Kankakee County.”
Monday, October 03, 2016
Labor Shed Analysis RFP Issued
The Grundy Livingston Kankakee Workforce Board is soliciting proposals from organizations interested in providing professional services to conduct a Labor Shed Analysis for Grundy, Livingston and Kankakee Counties, which comprise Local Workforce Area #11 under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The Workforce Board anticipates awarding the contract at its December 20, 2016, meeting. Applicants must be prepared to deploy services immediately following the award of a contract/grant with final product to be presented at the March 21, 2017, Workforce Board meeting.
Monday, September 26, 2016
Namdar Purchases Northfield Square Mall for $9.6M, Begins Repositioning
In July, Bradley’s Northfield Square Mall was sold to Namdar Realty Group for $9.6M. The privately held Great Neck, NY, real estate investment firm purchased the 527,000 SF shopping complex from C.W. Capital, Bethesda, MD. Spinoso Real Estate Group, North Syracuse, NY, formerly managed the property. Namdar reportedly will actively manage the Illinois Route 50 property with an eye toward significant repositioning.
Monday, September 19, 2016
Meijer Breaks Ground in Bradley
Meijer, which operates 230 supercenters and grocery stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin, has broken ground on its expansion in Bradley, Illinois. Part of the company’s plan to invest more than $400 million in nine new and 32 remodeled stores across the Midwest this year, the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based retailer is replacing the former Kmart Super Center site at 990 N. Kinzie Ave., starting with the special use-granted conversion of an adjacent commercial parcel with a vacated Taco Bell restaurant into a six-pump, 250,000SF gas station.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
Kankakee County Exports Up 74%, 16th Highest Growth in U.S.
According to the recently released 2015 Metropolitan Area Export Overview, authored by the International Trade Administration, Kankakee County experienced a 74 percent increase in its world exports from 2014 to 2015. The year-over-year increase from $753M to $1.3B was the 16th greatest bump among metropolitan statistical areas nationwide. The bulk of the growth can be attributed to chemical manufacturing output, specifically products made here by Sun Chemical and Dow Chemical.
Friday, July 29, 2016
Bears Camp VIP Event Draws Greater Chicago Developers
The Economic Alliance, in partnership with the Village of Bourbonnais and Kankakee County Convention & Visitors Bureau, kicked off the 15th year of Chicago Bears Training Camp at Olivet Nazarene University with a Developers Day event on July 28. Attendees included Greater Chicago commercial and industrial real estate brokers, developers and manufacturers, along with local business leadership.
Friday, July 08, 2016
State of Illinois Issues Statement of Eligibility for Kankakee Downtown Historic District
After initial assessment, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency has determined that the Kankakee Downtown Historic District is eligible for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. In correspondence dated July 5, the agency informed local project partners that the proposed district meets National Register criteria for both historical and architectural significance. The City of Kankakee, Kankakee Development Corp. and the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County are pursuing the honorary National Register of Historic Places designation in an effort to secure tax incentives for preservation-based property rehabilitation.
Monday, June 27, 2016
Registration Now Open for ACCELERATE 2016 Small Business Conference & Expo
Both attendee and exhibitor registrations are now being accepted for the 2nd Annual ACCELERATE Small Business Conference & Expo, to be held Thursday, September 8, 2016, at the Kankakee Community College Riverfront Campus in Kankakee. The day-long event, which attracted more than 100 small business owners in its 2015 inaugural year, will feature education, networking and promotional opportunities, along with keynotes by Spikeball CEO and Kankakee native Chris Ruder as well as best-selling author Summer Alexander. Cost is $30 for Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce members, $40 for non-Chamber members. Breakfast and lunch are included. A Chamber Business After Hours, open to all registered attendees, will conclude the day’s events.
Wednesday, June 08, 2016
Kankakee-Bradley MSA #7 Nationally in Middle-income Share
Against a backdrop of a steadily declining middle class, the Kankakee-Bradley Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is showing outstanding growth in its proportion of middle-income individuals. According to a new report by Pew Research Center, the Kankakee-Bradley MSA – which shares boundaries with Kankakee County – saw growth in its share of middle-income adults, from 60 percent in 2000 to 62 percent in 2014, positioning the area among the Top 10 U.S. Middle-income Metros.
Thursday, June 02, 2016
Alliance Launches Redeveloped Attraction-focused Website
The Economic Alliance of Kankakee County this week launched its newly redeveloped website – kankakeecountyed.org. Among the site’s enhancements are better positioning of the community as a part of an asset-rich region with global access, and dramatically increased opportunities for user engagement and activation.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
ReferenceUSA Lunch & Learn Set for May 2
Through a joint partnership of the Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce, Kankakee Public Library and the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County, high-value strategic business intelligence from ReferenceUSA is now available free of charge to Kankakee County industries, entrepreneurs, residents and others considering investment in the community.
Monday, April 11, 2016
EnterpriseU 2016 Finalists Announced
After review and scoring by Round 1 judges, including one finance professional, seven EnterpriseU 2016 business plans have been selected for final judging.
Monday, April 04, 2016
ComEd Changes Policy to Help Fuel Economic Growth in Region
In a move that is intended to make northern Illinois more attractive to expanding and prospective businesses, ComEd has modified a policy that requires some business customers seeking new or expanded electric service to provide an upfront deposit.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Governor Rauner Announces Formation of Non-Profit Economic Development Organization
Governor Rauner today announced in his State of the State address that leaders at the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity and business stakeholders will collaborate in organizing a newly formed private, non-profit organization focusing exclusively on increasing Illinois’ competitiveness for job creation and investment.
Monday, December 28, 2015
EDF Renewable Energy Expands with Kelly Creek Wind Farm
The Kankakee County Board in August approved a special use permit for the Kelly Creek Wind Farm, a 108-turbine project that is projected to create 12 permanent maintenance jobs and 120 construction jobs locally (700+ jobs for the State of Illinois), in addition to generating in excess of $3 million in new property taxes, as reported by the Daily Journal.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
New Production Facility for BrickStone Brewery
Bourbonnais-based BrickStone Brewery unveiled its new 8,100 square foot, 50-barrel, four-vessel production facility in September. The facility will allow the award-winning operation to quadruple its output, from 5,000 kegs to more than 20,000 kegs per year.
Thursday, December 10, 2015
$16M River Station Senior Apartment Project Breaks Ground
A key component of the City of Kankakee's West Downtown District Master Plan, the River Station Senior Apartment complex broke ground in November. A joint effort of the city, Mercy Housing Lakefront, the Kankakee County Housing Development Corporation and Presence St. Mary's Hospital, the $16 million project aligns afforable living with accessibility and support for healthy aging.
Tuesday, December 08, 2015
Alliance President/CEO Position Posted
The Economic Alliance of Kankakee County is a not-for-profit public/private partnership responsible for coordinating countywide economic development initiatives. The Alliance is seeking an accomplished candidate for the position of President/Chief Executive Officer to oversee implementation of Kankakee County’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), manage the economic development organization and provide technical assistance to local governments.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Great Lakes Basin Railroad, IL DCEO Unveil New Developments at Alliance November Board Meeting
Michelle Michals of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) was on hand at the Alliance Board of Directors meeting at Olivet Nazarene University Thursday, November 12 to detail major economic development news that the state released Wednesday related to EDGE tax credits and the certification of the state's Enterprise Zones, two of which are in Kankakee County.
Wednesday, November 04, 2015
Kankakee County Launches 2015 Small Business Saturday Campaign
For the first time, Kankakee County small business owners are collaborating to promote special discounts and boost foot traffic during the popular nationwide retail promotion Small Business Saturday. The event, set for Saturday, November 28, will involve retailers across the county that have opted to participate in the free cooperative marketing campaign being driven by the Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce.
Monday, October 26, 2015
KCC/KCCC Launch Leadership & Management Institute
In collaboration with the Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce, Kankakee Community College is launching an exciting new Leadership and Management Institute to enhance skills for new and seasoned professionals.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Enterprise Zone Update: Performance, Tax Advantages and 2016 Changes
On October 1, Economic Alliance of Kankakee County President/CEO and Kankakee County Enterprise Zone Administrator Mike Van Mill provided a briefing on the performance of the two Enterprise Zones that exist in Kankakee County and the tax advantages that they provide to business located within their boundaries. Also outlined were changes to the program that users should anticipate in 2016.
Thursday, October 08, 2015
THRIVE 2016 "The Innovation Issue" Released
Across all facets of life and work in Kankakee County, we are seeing significant moves to innovate – to combine resources and ideas in fresh ways – in order to meet the needs of an eager and dynamic marketplace. Our achievements in this arena were recognized again in 2015 by the Milken Institute, which named Kankakee County Illinois' #1 Small Metro for Job Growth, Technology Growth and Economic Vitality.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Sales Guru Bill Guertin to Kick Off ACCELERATE 2015
In an overworked, out-of-balance society, how can you as a small business professional stay positive and fulfilled in the right ways? Nationally renowned sales guru and Kankakee County native Bill Guertin will provide some practical answers to this question in his kick off to the upcoming Accelerate 2015 Small Business Conference & Expo.In an overworked, out-of-balance society, how can you as a small business professional stay positive and fulfilled in the right ways? Nationally renowned sales guru and Kankakee County native Bill Guertin will provide some practical answers to this question in his kick off to the upcoming Accelerate 2015 Small Business Conference & Expo.
Monday, July 20, 2015
Alliance Responds to Announced Closure of Bunge Oils
The Economic Alliance is disappointed to learn of the impending closure of Bunge Oils in Bradley, a long-standing member of Kankakee County's thriving food processing sector. We understand that this is a market-driven closure that will involve consolidation of Bradley's operations to other Bunge sites.
Monday, July 20, 2015
Construction to begin at Interstate 57 and Bourbonnais Parkway interchange
After a minor delay by Governor Bruce Rauner, we are pleased to announce construction will be begin for the new Interchange at Interstate 57 and Bourbonnais Parkway. Construction of this $46 million project was awarded to Kankakee Valley Construction Company providing numerous construction jobs to Kankakee County for the next 2-3 years.
Tuesday, June 02, 2015
EnterpriseU 2015 Finalists Announced
A total of 18 aspiring and expanding small business owners have entered the 2015 edition of Kankakee County's EnterpriseU Entrepreneurs Boot Camp & Business Plan Competition.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Alliance Q2 2015 Ad Released
The Economic Alliance has released its Q2 2015 advertisement for publication. The 10" x 7" ad reinforces Kankakee County's distinction as #1 Small Metro in Illinois for economic vitality and job growth according to Milken Institute and #9 Small Metro for Cost of Doing Business nationwide according to Forbes.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Nicor Gas Supports Economic Alliance with $4,000 Investment
The Economic Alliance of Kankakee County announces that Nicor Gas, an AGL Resources Company, has formally invested in its 2015 program of work. The utility's donation of $4,000 supports operations and programming for Kankakee County's umbrella 501(c)(6) public-private economic development organization.
Monday, May 04, 2015
Van Mill, Bennett Present at IEZA Spring Conference
Economic Alliance of Kankakee County President and CEO Mike Van Mill and McColly Bennett Commercial broker Jeff Bennett presented at the Spring Conference of the Illinois Enterprise Zone Association (IEZA), held April 29 to May 1 in Springfield.
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
Screening of Documentary Film "Maker" April 20
The Economic Alliance of Kankakee County, ONU's Catalyst Innovation Center and the South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium will host a screening of the award-winning documentary film "Maker" on Monday, April 20 at 6:30 p.m.
Monday, March 30, 2015
Health Care Sector Vibrant in Kankakee County
The United States spends more on health care than any other country in the world, at an estimated 17.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013, according to Deloitte Development's "2015 Health Care Providers Outlook."
Monday, March 30, 2015
Van Drunen Farms Expansion Underway
One of the country's leading manufacturers and suppliers of natural, conventional and organic, whole-food fruit, vegetable, herb and other specialty ingredients is considerably expanding its Momence, Illinois, operational footprint.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
EnterpriseU Class of 2015 Announced
A total of 18 aspiring and expanding small business owners have entered the 2015 edition of Kankakee County's EnterpriseU Entrepreneurs Boot Camp & Business Plan Competition.
Friday, March 06, 2015
Economic Alliance publishes 2014 Annual Report
The Economic Alliance of Kankakee County in March published and released its 2014 Annual Report. The document - available online here - recaps the organization's efforts and achievements in Business Retention & Expansion, Business Attraction, Workforce Development, Regional Development, Local Community Development and Promotion in the January to December 2014 time window.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
City of Kankakee Resident Fair Housing Survey
The City of Kankakee receives federal Entitlement Program funds from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) which are used to provide housing resources and programs for current and future homeowners. To receive funding from HUD, the City of Kankakee must develop a Consolidated Plan that identifies priorities and objectives for addressing the community needs over a five year period.
Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Catalyst Innovation Center launched in Bradley
Marking the launch of the Catalyst Innovation Center for Kankakee County, Illinois, area business, education and community leaders gathered at the historic David Bradley Building in Bradley on Tuesday, December 9, 2014. Founded to provide comprehensive services and programs to support both business growth and entrepreneurial opportunities in Kankakee County, this business and research venture is a cooperative effort of Olivet Nazarene University, Riverside Healthcare and the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County.
Friday, November 21, 2014
Kankakee County #6 Nationally in Income Growth
Figures released November 20 by the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) show Kankakee County leading most metropolitan statistical areas nationwide in personal income growth.
Monday, October 20, 2014
Wogan Completes 46th Annual Illinois BEDC Course
Lisa Wogan, Director of Marketing & Business Attraction for the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County, has completed the Illinois Basic Economic Development Course, held October 13-17 in Naperville. The BEDC is a required first step in pursuit of the economic development field's interdisciplinary CEcD certification.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
"Powership" author kicks off Manufacturing Month at KCC
Business strategist, IMPACTinsights founder and author of POWERSHIP, Kathie Topel will kick of Kankakee Community College's National Manufacturing Month activities with an address to local business leaders on Wednesday, October 1, 2014.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
New Community Partnership Engaging Fans Year Round