We spend some of our time at the GPEDC helping people find their way home. People who grew up in East Peoria, Havana, Roanoke, Lincoln, and every unique city and village in our region and then made the decision to move away. We reach out, share information on great job opportunities, and send nostalgic pictures, a reminder of their childhood and deep connections here.

Helping people find their way home is an important part of building our regional economy. We develop some pretty talented people in our communities and we need them to grow businesses, organizations, and families right here in GP. 

And so, just as others are lured by the nostalgia and connections of home, I am as well.  In a few short weeks, I will be returning to the place where I learned to drive, cheered at local football games, navigated dorm rooms and college classes, launched a new organization, and met and married my husband. Iowa City, my hometown.

If you would like to keep in touch (and I really hope you will!) you can connect with me at jdaly@creativecorridor.co. You can also stop by to say goodbye at a gathering on Thursday, June 29th between 3-5pm at Kelleher's.

It has been an honor serving in this role and I am incredibly thankful to have had the chance to work with so many talented, passionate, and kind people. My life has been forever changed in the best of ways by the experience.

Jennifer Daly
Greater Peoria Economic Development Council
We are thrilled to announce that Denny Kief will serve as Interim CEO for the Greater Peoria EDC. His appointment will begin on July 3rd.

Denny served as Pekin's City Manager for 26 years and is cur rently assisting Farnsworth Group as their Government Administrations Manager. He  has been an active volunteer leader with our organization for almost a decade and served as Interim CEO in the past.

You can connect with Denny at dkief@greaterpeoriaedc.org or 309-495-5956.
By Randon Gettys, Startup GP Director
I bet you didn't know that critical technology driving the autonomous car industry is being developed and produced right here in Greater Peoria. Buckle up for a quick spotlight on AutonomouStuff, a startup headquartered in Morton that is a big player in the autonomous technology industry.

AutonomouStuff is a startup founded in 2010 by CEO Bobby Hambrick, a native of the region and graduate of East Peoria High School.  His passion for robotics and an entrepreneurial spirit led to the creation of this company that is now a successful supplier of components to OEMs of autonomous products. They also build autonomous vehicles themselves...that is to say, they build driver-less cars!  Read the full story here...

For a full list of startup companies in Greater Peoria, click here .

For more information on Startup GP, contact Randon at rgettys@greaterpeoriaedc.org

by Kim Uhlig, Director of Business Attraction
I just returned from Washington, D.C. where I attended the  Select USA Investment Summit!   Leigh Ann Brown, CEO for the Morton EDC, helped me showcase Greater Peoria to the 2500+ attendees representing over 80 countries.  

We had over a dozen meetings scheduled with companies interested in making an investment in the United States through a company acquisition, partnership, or a new location. We also had a booth with marketing materials showcasing Greater Peoria, which gave us the opportunity to talk with hundreds of show attendees. 

Attracting businesses takes a village! If your company or organization would like to help support our Greater Peoria Business Attraction Efforts, we would love to work with you! Anyone can become an ambassador, reaching out through their personal or professional network to invite others to make Greater Peoria their newest home. Let us know if you need help developing a pitch, or leverage our brochures and videos at greaterpeoriaedc.org/marketing.  

For more information about our business attraction efforts, contact Kim Uhlig at kuhlig@greaterpeoriaedc.org.
by Kate Cundiff, Director of Workforce Solutions
At the Greater Peoria EDC, we are constantly trying to connect available talent to available jobs in the region. One of the first tools we launched to accomplish this goal was the Greater Peoria Talent Connection

The GP Talent connection is a bi-weekly e-newsletter that contains resumes of available talent. We want to help employers connect with high-quality talent in the region, while giving job seekers the opportunity to secure employment and remain in the area.

GP native Chelsea Peck recently utilized Talent Connection and landed a high-level position with i3 Broadband one month after her position was eliminated from her previous employer! Chelsea applied for various positions using common job search sites, such as Glassdoor, Indeed, and LinkedIn.  After submitting several applications online, she submitted her resume to the GP Talent Connection e-newsletter.   Read the full story here...

If you are a CEO, HR Director or Recruiter, we recommend you subscribe to GP Talent Connection. If you are a job seeker, please send your resume to Kate Cundiff, our Director of Workforce Solutions, at kcundiff@greaterpeoriaedc.org.

By Brent Baker, Peoria Pathways to Prosperity Coordinator
Earlier this year we wrapped up our first Annual Talent Forecast, and unsurprisingly, the largest demand in our region was for registered nurses, with around 1,800 RN positions reported to be needing filled over the next two years. And while nurses and direct care providers are a critical piece of the healthcare puzzle, there is an unseen army of logistics professionals that support the thousands of nurses and doctors who provide that care for patients in our region.

In fact, Philip Smith,  UnityPoint Health - Peoria's Director of Supply Chain,    expects up to 20% of their logistics staff to be retiring in the next five years.  Luckily, the UnityPoint Health - Methodist | Proctor Human Resources department is looking towards the future and creating n ew opportunities to expose students to the lucrative logistics careers within their healthcare system. As part of their new high school internship program created through the GPEDC's Greater Peoria Works initiative.

Ysenia Scott, a senior at Peoria High, is on the cutting edge as UnityPoint Health - Peoria's first high school logistics intern.   Read the full story here...

If you are interested in learning more about GP Pathways, or how you can participate, please send questions to Brent Baker at bbaker@greaterpeoriaedc.org

Rachael Parker is the Director of Economic Development for the City of Chillicothe, one of the many great communities in Greater Peoria!

Rachael has been in her current position for the past five years where she is working to grow existing businesses and attract new businesses to Chillicothe's corner of the region north of Peoria along the Illinois River.

She graduated from Bradley University (where she was also inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992!) and started her career in economic development in 1995 when she began working for the Small Business Administration.  Since then, she also worked in economic development at the regional level and for the City of Peoria.  

Rachael has operated her own small business, Sweet Cakes by Rachael, for over 20 years - so she understands the difficulties in building and maintaining a sustainable business.  She said her experience as a business owner helps her to know where the challenges exist and to help her community overcome barriers.

Thank you, Rachael, for your commitment to economic development in Greater Peoria!  We look forward to continuing our work with you and your city's businesses!  Learn more about Chillicothe and the economic development work being done there by contacting Rachael at rparker@mediacombb.net
Our Summer Intern Mixers are going great!  Over 140 interns have registered for one or more of the events and, so far, each mixer has had around 60 interns participate.
At these mixers, we are engaging the young professionals working in our community during the summer.  We are promoting Greater Peoria as a great place to live and work by showing the range of careers and employers that are available, and exposing them to some of our amenities and the high quality of life in our region. We want them to consider Greater Peoria as a permanent home!

The GP Intern Mixers are held at various locations every Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in June and July, with an after party from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Interns can find the full list of events and register at www.liveGP.org/internmixers . Contact Kate Cundiff at kcundiff@greaterpeoriaedc.org or 309-495-5959 with questions about the program. 

We Want to Thank These GPEDC Investors for their Support!

The Latest Headlines
New building coming to the Levee District
New developments in Peoria Heights pay off
Downtown Peoria looks to fund added services through special services area
Pekin Adds Features Downtown for Visitors to Sit, Stay A While
Community Development Program Brightens Peoria's Alleys
Mark Your Calendars
June 27 -  Greater Peoria Works Employer Seminar   - 9-10 a.m. Peoria City Hall
June 27 - Small Business Cybersecurity Series - 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. NEXT Innovation
June 29 - Business After Hours - 4:30 - 6 p.m. So Chic Boutique, Morton
July 5 -  Open Coworking  -  9 a.m. - 5 p.m. at The Nest
July 11  -  Starting a business in Illinois - 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. NEXT Innovation
July 13 - Peoria Lakes Comprehensive Plan Open House - IVY Club, Peoria Heights
July 13 - Business After Hours - 4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Weaver Ridge Golf Course
July 18  -   Starting a business in Illinois  - 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. Fondulac Bank, East Peoria
Mondays - One-Stop Shop' Business Assistance - 1:30 p.m. Peoria City Hall
Thursday in June & July - GP Intern Mixers - 5:30 p.m. -9:30 p.m. - Various Locations
Track Our Progress
The Greater Peoria EDC has established a five year strategy and measurable goals as part of the Focus Forward Plan. We will be updating our investors and stakeholders each quarter on our progress in achieving the following goals by 2019:

25 interstate firm expansions/retentions by 2019, as measured by our clients
1,000 new high quality jobs created/retained by 2019, as measured by our clients.
T hrough Q1 2017: 24 business expansions, 142 jobs created  

30 new companies created by 2019, as measured by Startup Peoria clients
150 new high-quality jobs created by 2019, as measured by Startup Peoria clients.
Through Q1 2017: 29 startups launched, 37 jobs created

10 new interstate firm locations by 2019, as measured by our clients
750 new high-quality jobs created by 2019, as measured by our clients.
Through Q1 2017: 5 business locations, 230 jobs created  

50% increase in capture rate in targeted jobs by 2019, as measured by our clients
50 apprentices transitioned to full-time employment in our region, as measured by our clients.
Through Q1 2017: 2,125 student career experiences, 26 high school internship placements, 49 internships created

30% increase in new hire capture rate, as measured by our clients.
20% improvement in employee retention rate by 2019, as measured by our clients.
Through Q1 2017: 235 newcomers presentation attendees, 2,855  LiveGP.org users, 2,000 Live GP booklets distributed 

Look for our full quarterly progress reports in our e-Newsletters and on our website!