Economic Development News
Tuesday, December 04 2018
Morrison, IL -- The Whiteside Carrol Enterprise Zone (WCEZ) will be hosting two Enterprise Zone Informational meetings in December to present local businesses with information about this local business incentive, and how it can assist businesses in their expansion or location in Whiteside and Carroll Counties. The meetings will be held on December 18, 2018, at 1:00 – 2:00 PM in the Whiteside County Law Enforcement Center, and on December 19, 2018, at the Carroll County Courthouse at 1:00 - 2:00 PM. The sessions will provide information on what the Enterprise Zone is, what the benefits are, who qualifies, an explanation of the application process, and answers to questions about the Enterprise Zone.
According to Gary Camarano, WCEZ Administrator, “The Whiteside Carroll Enterprise Zone has shown itself to be one of the region’s most effective local incentives in attracting investment, and retaining and creating jobs to the region. Since the year 2000, the Whiteside Carroll Enterprise Zone has assisted 469 projects, attracted $414,630,240.00 in investment, and helped in retaining and creating 8,076 jobs. We want to reach out to the business community and provide information to them on this incentive, and how it could assist in business expansions or locations.”
Tuesday, June 12 2018
Morrison, IL — The Innovation Center at Morrison Tech is rapidly proceeding, with construction of the exterior and infrastructure nearly complete. Chris Scott, Morrison Tech’s President said, “We’re right on schedule, and we expect the center to be operational by late August. This is the culmination of years of planning and effort, and it will be a symbol of Morrison Tech’s commitment to Engineering Technology and STEM education. It will provide unique opportunities for students, educators, businesses, innovators, and artists.”
Scott added, “This significant investment will enable the college to host numerous activities and foster collaboration between Postsecondary Education, K-12, and Private Industry. The regional workforce climate is very important to Morrison Tech, and we believe that regional success is furthered by a combination of quality school facilities and programs, thriving businesses, resilient local economies, and communities with a high quality of life. The Innovation Center is a product of this type of collaboration.”
Friday, June 08 2018
Morrison, IL — There have been several food trends emerging over the past few years, and one of the biggest is the “Farm-to-Fork” movement, where people are getting closer to the source of their food, and knowing the producer and their production methods. To help people connect directly with growers and producers in the Whiteside/Northwest Illinois region, Gary Camarano, Whiteside County’s Economic Development Director, and Lauren Lee, the County’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Coordinator, collaborated on developing a “Local Food Hub” map to help consumers identify and visit local growers and food producers.
The collaboration has resulted in a “Whiteside County Story Map” that identifies several categories of food growers and producers, including Farmer’s Markets, Farm Stands, Orchards & Pumpkin Patches, Local Food & Meat Processing, Wineries & Breweries, Family Farms, and the almost famous “Chocolate Trail”. The link to the “Local Food Hub” map can be found on the County’s website under the Economic Development department’s tab, or at the following link: http://arcg.is/2wlrTqZ
Tuesday, May 08 2018
Largest wind and renewable energy event in Western Hemisphere opens Tuesday
Chicago, IL — WINDPOWER 2018 Conference and Exhibition, the largest wind and renewable energy event in the Western Hemisphere kicks off in Chicago tomorrow, and you can register for a livestream to hear industry leaders share what’s next for wind. The wind industry was founded on bold thinking and a long-term vision. Today, that innovative and entrepreneurial spirit continues to be demonstrated by rapid growth and major advances in technology.
Registration and streaming link: http://awea.live.conferencecontent.net/
When: Livestreams will air from 10 am to 11am CT on Tuesday, May 8 and Wednesday, May 9.
Who: Over the next two days, hear from the following industry leaders who will share their vision for the future of wind power:
Complete conference information, as well as a schedule (all times CDT), are available on the event website: http://www.windpowerexpo.org/
AWEA is the national trade association of the U.S. wind energy industry. We represent 1,000 member companies and over 100,000 jobs in the U.S. economy, serving as a powerful voice for how wind works for America. Members include global leaders in wind power and energy development, turbine manufacturing, and component and service suppliers. They gather each year at the Western Hemisphere’s largest wind power trade show, the AWEA WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition, this year in Chicago, May 7-10, 2018. Find information about wind energy on the AWEA website. Gain insight into industry issues on AWEA's blog, Into the Wind. And please join us on Facebook, and follow @AWEA on Twitter.
Wednesday, November 01 2017
Company a stop on Walmart manufacturing tour
Sterling, IL — Wahl Clipper has fought to hold onto its core values in an age of increasing globalization, but it hasn’t always been easy.
While its larger competitors were outsourcing jobs, the Sterling-based worldwide leader in consumer personal care products has continued to invest at home, continually increasing its local workforce and putting millions into the expansion of its headquarters. Ground will be broken on another building project next year.
Walmart, the company’s largest customer, brought its “Made in America” movement to Sterling on Monday, drawing a large group of politicians, local leaders and employees of both companies. Central to Walmart’s initiative, which began in 2013, is the retail giant’s pledge to buy an additional $250 billion in American-made products by 2023.
Tuesday, October 24 2017
Morrison, IL — While rumblings of the approval of the Whiteside Carroll Enterprise Zone application circulated last month, it can now be officially announced that the Whiteside Carroll Enterprise Zone application has been approved by the State of Illinois’ Enterprise Zone Board, and its Certificate of Designation issued by the he Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity as of October 16, 2017. The Whiteside Carroll Enterprise Zone includes 13 governmental entities in Whiteside and Carroll Counties, and covers approximately 14 square miles. The Enterprise Zone is an important economic development incentive used at the local level to assist businesses in expansions or new locations. The incentive includes sales tax exemption on building materials for businesses who are building or improving facilities within the Enterprise Zone boundaries, and if not located in a TIF District, temporary tax abatements.
Upon completion, the Whiteside Carroll Enterprise Zone application consisted of ten four inch binders, and according to Gary Camarano, Whiteside Carroll Enterprise Zone Administrator, “It ‘took a village’, and a city, and a county, and several other partners and stakeholders to complete.
Monday, August 28 2017
Morrison, IL — The newly launched Sauk Valley Innovation Awards (SVIA) is looking to identify and celebrate the region’s innovate businesses, and acknowledge them for their contribution to the region’s economy and livability. The program is a collaboration between the Whiteside County Economic Development Department and Sauk Valley Community College, and plans are to make this an annual event.
According to Gary Camarano, Whiteside’s Economic Development Director, “Innovative businesses create a stronger, more competitive local economy, and are keys to a wealth and job creation, attraction of other businesses and quality workforce, and contribute greatly to a community’s livability. We want the Sauk Valley Innovation Awards to be a means of celebrating our innovative businesses, fostering an innovation climate in the region, and give our innovators a chance to network and possibly collaborate on other creative and innovative projects.”
Thursday, June 29 2017
Morrison, IL — Senator Tammy Duckworth wants to hear from small and mid-sized enterprises (SME) in the Whiteside/Northwest Illinois Region about the challenges and obstacles they face in doing business. The Senator, a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, is looking for information on the state of rural entrepreneurship, and find effective solutions to unlock rural growth potential. With that purpose in mind, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the Whiteside County Economic Development Department, and Sauk Valley Community College have scheduled two business 'sound off' meetings on July 13th to allow local SMEs to identify the challenges and obstacles they face in doing business, propose possible solutions, and comment on current and future Federal initiatives to help rural SMES.
Laura Ortega, Executive Director with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce explained, “The ‘sound off’ meetings will allow rural SMEs the chance to voice their concerns, suggest solutions, and give their opinions on policies that affect them directly.
Wednesday, June 07 2017
Photo Caption: Last year’s China General Chamber of Commerce Gala 2016 in Chicago.
Morrison, IL — Promoting the County, its businesses, and the region is a top priority for Gary Camarano, Whiteside County’s Economic Development Director, and on June 29th he will have an opportunity to promote the Whiteside County/Northwest Illinois Region at the 2017 Annual Gala of the China General Chamber of Commerce in Chicago (CGCC). At the all-day event titled “New Era – Opportunities & Challenges in U.S. – China Economic Cooperation”, Mr. Camarano will be speaking about regional trade and investment opportunities in the Whiteside County/Northwest Illinois Region to a large Chinese business delegation from various Chinese cities and provinces.
Camarano explained, “The purpose of this event is to connect both Chinese and U.S. businesses who want to explore new opportunities for export to China, to increase trade cooperation, to attract additional Chinese companies to invest in the Midwest, and for us to showcase our Region as an attractive place to do business. There have been about 260 Chinese companies that invested $20.3 billion in the nine-state Midwest Region from 2000 to 2016, creating at least 45,000 jobs, and I would like to see future investment in the Northwest Illinois Region.
Friday, March 03 2017
Photo Caption: Consul General Hong Lei (left) of the Consulate of People’s Republic of China in Chicago, and Whiteside County Economic Development Director Gary Camarano at an earlier meeting in Chicago
Morrison, IL — The world’s second largest economy would like to have lunch with some of the Whiteside County/Northwest Illinois Region’s businesses, particularly manufacturers and agribusinesses. Gary Camarano, Whiteside County Economic Development Director explained, “Mr. Hong Lei, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China has accepted our invitation to tour Whiteside/Northwest Illinois and meet with some of our businesses to discuss opportunities for mutually beneficial trade between China and businesses in our region. In conversations with Mr. Hong, we both agreed that the large multi-nationals corporations don’t need our help to sell abroad, but our small and mid-sized businesses do need some assistance. That’s why Mr. Hong will meet with our businesses and present information on opportunities for them with small and mid-sized businesses in China.”
Friday, February 03 2017
Morrison, IL -- Last Friday, January 27th, marked the Chinese New Year, China’s most important holiday. Gary Camarano, Whiteside County’s Economic Development Director, participated in a celebratory luncheon in Chicago’s Chinatown where the People’s Republic of China’s Consul General Hong Lei was the guest of honor. The luncheon celebrated “the Year of the Rooster.” While at the event Mr. Camarano had a chance to talk with Consul General Hong about the Whiteside/Northwest Illinois Region, and exploring more mutually beneficial trade and investment opportunities between the Whiteside region and the world’s second largest economy, China.
Mr. Camarano explained, “As part of our outreach and marketing efforts we want to increase market awareness about our region and its businesses, and meet with representatives of countries that offer trade opportunities, and have an interest in locating businesses in the region. The People’s Republic of China is one of countries we have on our list. They are a huge market for quality, advanced manufactured products, and are increasing their investment in U.S. locations.”
Monday, January 30 2017
Rock Falls, IL -- Plans are shaping up for a Hydrothermal Liquefaction business to locate in Rock Falls, Illinois. Green Vision, LLC, presented a glimpse of their plans at last night’s City of Rock Falls Committee of the Whole meeting. Mayor Bill Wescott introduced representatives from Green Vision International and explained, “We’ve got our friends from Green Vision International here tonight to share with us their plans for a solid waste conversion project that will bring a sustainable, job creating business that will help the region solve the problem of handling our bio-waste, produce energy, and help establish our region as a front runner in sustainable and renewable energy projects, and Rock Falls as the front door.”
Green Vision’s COO Don McFarland then went on to present a short PowerPoint presentation reviewing some of the science behind the Hydrothermal Liquefaction process that will be used to convert bio-mass into bio-crude, and the various by products that will be available for sale.
Tuesday, August 16 2016
Sterling, IL -- One of the biggest challenges facing U.S. manufacturers today is the growing skills gap, and local manufacturers are not immune to this problem. But rather than simply complain about the problem several manufacturers and educators in the Northwest Illinois Region have decided to take action. A group of ten local manufacturers, Sauk Valley Community College (SVCC), and the Whiteside Area Career Center (WACC) have joined together to form the Multicraft Internship Advisory Board (MIAB), a partnership determined to make a difference in workforce development for the region.
At the heart of the MIAB’s initiative is a work skills development program that complements the Multicraft Technology degree program at SVCC.
The college collaborated with local manufacturers in 2012 to create the Multicraft Technology Program. A key component to the curriculum was a short work study to cement ideas taught in the classroom. This component has now led to the creation in May, 2016, of the MIAB, and now the launching of the Multicraft Extended Internship Program (MEIP).
Tuesday, August 09 2016
Morrison, IL -- American companies are increasingly going overseas in search of growth and new opportunities – opportunities that could mean more sales and profits. In an effort to help the region’s businesses identify these opportunities for growth. The Whiteside County Economic Development Department (WCEDD) has begun working with the International Trade Association of Greater Chicago (ITAGC), a leading non-profit business association that provides a forum for the exchange of up-to-date and practical information on the latest trends and tools that affect the ever changing global market place. With more than 600 members, the ITAGC represents a range of interests – consular/diplomatic groups, industrial, merchandise, service companies, and academic organizations - and the WCEDD is looking to tap into the group’s network to uncover trade opportunities for the region’s businesses, assistance in organizing and conducting inbound and outbound trade missions, and to increase the market’s awareness of the Whiteside County/Northwest Illinois Region as a suitable location for Foreign Direct Investment.
Monday, August 01 2016
Morrison, IL -- Four vintage World War II era aircraft, part of the “The Wings of Freedom Tour,” landed at the Whiteside County Airport this week, much to the delight of over 600 visitors who came out to participate in this “living history” event. Presented by the Collings Foundation, the “Wings of Freedom Tour” honors the sacrifices made by our veterans that allow us to enjoy our freedom; and to educate visitors, especially younger Americans, about our national history and heritage.
The four aircraft included the B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine;” the B-24J Liberator, “Witchcraft;” the B-25 Mitchell bomber "Tondelayo;" and the P-51C Mustang fighter, "Betty Jane." The B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine” is one of the few remaining B-17s still capable of flight. The B-24J and P-51C Mustang are the last remaining aircraft of their type flying in the world today.
Friday, June 10 2016
Morrison, IL -- Bringing expertise and networking opportunities to local businesses is one way economic developers can assist businesses to grow and thrive, and the Whiteside County Economic Development Department (EDD) and Morrison Institute of Technology (MIT) are joining forces to accomplish this. The County EDD is introducing a “Virtual Incubator” and MIT has stepped up to become one of their first partners.
According to Whiteside County EDD Director Gary Camarano, “The Virtual Incubator is a group of people, government bodies, academia, businesses and economic development organizations that can bring expertise on a number of different topics that businesses may find helpful in running their operations. The Virtual Incubator isn’t a physical location, but a network that can provide assistance. In MIT’s case they will provide additive manufacturing in the form of 3D printing to area businesses at cost. This can be a real benefit to manufacturers and entrepreneurs that are looking a cost effective and timely method for prototyping and testing.”
Thursday, May 05 2016
Holiday Express Inns Grand Opening
Morrison, IL -- The grand opening of the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Rock Falls marks the completion of the first phase of the City’s Riverfront Revitalization. The $6.1 million, 68 unit hotel is considered the anchor to Rock Falls’ RB&W (Ride, Bike & Walk) District, which will include a Riverwalk and bike path, entertainment venue, splash pad and restrooms. The hotel is also expected to draw other commercial enterprises to the riverfront and uptown area.
Rock Falls Mayor Bill Wescott exclaimed, “We feel this is the centerpiece to our riverfront development. This will make our riverfront and uptown area a more vital area than it has been in a long time. New jobs, commercial activity and a better quality of life for Rock Falls are all anticipated results from our the riverfront revitalization and the RB&W District. And I want to give thanks to City staff, and the hotel’s investors and developers, who all worked hard and diligently to see this project’s completion.”
Thursday, April 28 2016
Morrison, IL -- Is there a shrimp harvest in Northwest Illinois’ future? The New Mexico Shrimp Co., headquartered in Mesquite, NM, has started to reach out to the Northwest Illinois region, and is looking for potential partners. The company grows fresh, locally grown shrimp using a proprietary process developed at New Mexico State University’s School of Agriculture. With a growing “Farm to Table” movement that encourages more local grown and sustainable food production, the company feels its business model can be easily transferred to other parts of the country and replicated.
Using technology developed by NMSU’s Dr. Tracey Carrillo, the shrimp are grown in tanks and fed a shrimp feed using cottonseed, a waste product from cotton production in the American Southwest. Their first facility, a 7,000 square foot facility with eleven tanks, produces about 12,000 lbs. of shrimp annually, and consumers are extremely satisfied with the product’s taste. Other meal can be developed based on the local area’s agriculture, for example soy meal based in Illinois.
Tuesday, December 15 2015
Rockford, IL -- As part of the EDGE tax credit approval process reinstated by Governor Rauner, the Illinois Department of Commerce announced Taurus Die Casting LLC, an Italian manufacturer, will open its first U.S. based operation in Rockford, IL. Taurus Die Casting will create 37 full-time jobs through its $6.4 million investment in a 44,000 sf production facility, adding to current operations in Italy and Tunisia which employ 268 people. Taurus Die Casting is the manufacturer of high precision zinc die casted parts.
Taurus 80Taurus Die Casting is one of three companies to receive the EDGE tax credit for committing to create a total of 87 net new jobs and $27 million in capital investments in Illinois. All three companies considered moving operations to another state but chose to stay and grow in Illinois as a result of the state’s high quality workforce and competitive incentive packages.
Tuesday, September 22 2015
One Marketplace™ Interconnection of High-Demand Data Centers and Network Resources Simplifies Enterprise Connectivity in Greater Atlanta Metro
Chicago, IL -- Global Capacity, the leading connectivity as a service company, announces the expansion of its One Marketplace™ network in Atlanta, Georgia, a technology and business hub in the Southeast that holds the fourth-largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. and is home to 75 percent of Fortune 1000 companies. The diverse route fiber ring provides local customers with access to Global Capacity’s near-ubiquitous network reach and portfolio of data connectivity solutions to support today's Internet, security, video, voice and cloud applications that demand scalable and secure connectivity.
The 25-mile, diversely routed fiber ring interconnects Global Capacity’s Points of Presence (PoPs) located within Equinix’s data centers at 180 Peachtree St. NW and 56 Marietta St. NW, and Level 3 Communications’ 345 Courtland St., NE data center.
Monday, July 20 2015
Quad Cities, IA/IL -- The Quad Cities region now has one more advantage to offer growing companies: development ready sites. The Eastern Iowa Industrial Center, a 185 acre site in the Quad Cities, has been designated a certified site through the Iowa Certified Site program. “We’re prepared to respond in a moment’s notice to prospective companies seeking development ready sites,” says Paul Rumler, Chief Economic Development Officer, Quad Cities First. “Our goal in the Quad Cities is to offer businesses a competitive location where they can succeed. We understand that companies need to move quickly and get their facility up and running – and they can do that here.”
The Quad Cities is a prime location for logistics, warehousing and manufacturing firms, and this site is developed to suit those operations. Zoned light industrial in a campus-like industrial park, the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center is adjacent to I-80, will be rail served in late 2015, and is approximately 20 minutes from the Quad Cities International Airport.
Friday, June 12 2015
Chicago, IL -- The Reshoring Initiative, an organization committed to helping manufacturers recognize the profit potential of domestic sourcing and production, has published its “Top Reshoring Cases” infographic that illustrates the U.S. manufacturing advantages driving reshoring. A growing number of companies across the country, including the top reshoring cases listed in the last “slide”, are bringing manufacturing and thousands of jobs home from offshore.
Escalating offshore wages are causing companies to reevaluate total cost and the news is good; more companies are reshoring. With a skilled U.S. workforce, quality and productivity three times higher than low-labor-cost countries, along with shorter supply chains that lead to higher customer responsiveness, the United States is an attractive place for reshoring.
Wednesday, April 29 2015
Chicago, IL -- The Reshoring Initiative, an organization committed to helping manufacturers recognize the profit potential of utilizing local sourcing and production, has published its annual data report on reshoring trends, and the news is good. More than 60,000 manufacturing jobs were brought to the United States by reshoring and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) combined in 2014, representing a 400 percent increase since 2003.
With only 30,000 – 50,000 jobs being offshored to other countries in 2014, the resulting net gain of 10,000 or more jobs per year represents a shift in the right direction. By comparison in 2003, the United States lost net about 140,000 manufacturing jobs per year to offshoring. The steady decrease in the number of jobs lost, capped by a net gain last year, is building confidence that reshoring and FDI are important contributing factors to the country’s manufacturing rebound.