Bustling Economic Development in Grundy

Nancy Norton

Be In Grundy County, Be In Illinois

Grundy County is a great product to market to the economic development world. Sites within 45 minutes of a major metropolis with access to Class 1 rail lines, navigable rivers and energy assets are uniquely available in Grundy County.

Prospect and Development Activity

As more businesses pursue carbon neutrality goals and our energy economy changes, the GEDC is committed to ensure that Grundy County continues to lead in the energy sector. Projects like Blue Sky Solar, a $400 million, 300-megawatt solar energy development between Dwight and Gardner, recently announced it will sell its clean power to Comcast. CPV Three Rivers Energy continues employing hundreds of skilled tradespeople as work continues on the 1,200 MW natural gas generating station.

Despite increased construction costs and limited materials, industry is forging ahead with site selection and expansion plans in Grundy County. In the first quarter of 2022, the GEDC has seen a high volume of interest in sites with river and rail access, significant acreage and power. The GEDC has facilitated several site visits already this year and anticipates continued promising activity. The future economy of our area is very much “in the works.”

Procter and Gamble is actively working to build out its material handling system, robotics and racking in the new facility, and Costco continues work on its new one million square foot building, expanding into a Costco campus along Route 47. These future logistics and manufacturing facilities are state-of-the-art buildings that rely heavily on technology, digital and physical automation, and increased efficiency. The workforce employed to manage these automated systems is highly skilled, and these systems represent significant financial investments.

Supporting the Grundy Workforce

Summer Internship Program – We are excited to have a more normal summer internship season after COVID-19′s limitations on the program during the past two years. Thank you to the 14 companies which will be providing 29 paid summer internship opportunities to Grundy County students. A variety of experiences are available across various industries, including accounting, engineering, law enforcement, health care and manufacturing. Student applications are in, with interviews soon to begin. Special thanks to Senator Rezin for her ongoing support, and to our partners in education and business for making this valuable program possible.

Grundy County Job Crawl – Many businesses are hiring in Grundy! On May 18, the GEDC, the Grundy Chamber, and Grundy Workforce Services will be hosting its first ever Job Crawl. Jobseekers can look for balloons outside of participating businesses, stop by Grundy Workforce services to attend a traditional job fair, or apply for positions online. Contact the GEDC if your business is hiring and wants to participate.

GEDC Events

Legislative Breakfast – Also returning after a long COVID-19 break, is the annual legislative breakfast. Joining a full house of participants was Senators Joyce and Rezin as well as Representatives Haas and Welter. Local legislators updated the business community on the activities in Springfield including information regarding the unemployment trust fund, state budget and energy topics.

GEDC/Chamber Annual Dinner – The Annual Dinner jointly hosted by the GEDC and the Chamber of Commerce is already sold out, but those who have yet to secure their seats are encouraged to contact the GEDC office at 815-942-0163 to be added to the waiting list for tickets. The dinner will take place at the Morris Country Club at 5 p.m. May 4. We are excited to see everyone in person after recent years’ challenges, and we look forward to recognizing some of the important contributions of businesses and organizations over the past year to the health of our area’s economy.

Like Grundy County, Illinois is entering a new era in economic development. The state level public-private economic development organization, Intersect Illinois, has rolled out its Be In Illinois campaign to market the state as a global powerhouse at the heart of the country. The GEDC is proud to partner with the marketing efforts of Intersect Illinois. There are great things happening in the region and it’s never been a better time to spotlight our world class assets.