A Note from our CEO:
The Best Incentive is a Great Workforce

In January, Toyota and Mazda announced that they would be building a joint factory on 1200 acres in Huntsville, Alabama.  This ended a furious scramble by states and cities across the US looking to pitch their "mega-sites" (infrastructure ready sites of 1000 acres or more) to these automotive giants. Lots of pundits were shocked when Alabama got the nod over North Carolina, the other finalist.  North Carolina reportedly offered nearly $1.5 billion worth of incentives, allegedly three times higher than Alabama's offer. It seemed like an offer that couldn't be beat.

But some issues are more important than incentives. According to industry experts at Baum & Associates, Toyota-Mazda was swayed in large part because of logistics and workforce.  Alabama was already home to three other auto plants and consequently a sophisticated supply chain. Good logistics save money. In addition, according to Alan Baum, "Huntsville has a reputation for a technical workforce historically and in the present." This is not an accident.  With all the automotive manufacturing jobs in the state, Alabama began crafting its workforce efforts to match employer  demand.

What does a story about a car plant in Alabama mean to Greater Peoria? It shows the importance of focusing on our greatest asset - our people.

Kaydem's Story - GP Works
Kaydem's Story - GP Works
Kaydem Shaw, a student at Richwoods High School and Woodruff Career and Technical Center, had the opportunity to intern with Unity Point Health's Childcare Services at Methodist Hospital. Kaydem got to experience childcare firsthand, working alongside experienced childcare professionals.

The GPEDC is proud to again be a sponsor of Brave Launch. This 7-week intensive business accelerator program, run by the the SBDC at Bradley University, is designed to help innovative companies develop.

Get more information and apply here.

According to a report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics today, Peoria county saw the largest increase in average weekly wages, for the first quarter of 2018. Peoria topped the list in both dollar amount increase and percentage increase.

Read the report here.

As convenient and affordable access to fresh groceries in underserved urban neighborhoods and rural towns continues to shrink, residents of those communities have experienced a  rise in negative health outcomes .  The Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, as a member of the Regional Fresh Food Council, is working with regional partners to turn this growing challenge into an opportunity for community economic development.  

Read the full story.

Tom and Dawn Augustyn felt confident in relocating to the region after receiving a tour of what our region has to offer.

Tom found out about a job opportunity with Caterpillar that allowed him to choose to relocate to their offices in Deerfield or Peoria. F or Tom's third interview, Tom and Dawn came down to Peoria and decided to get a tour of the region (from our own Kate Carroll) to help their decision.

Read the full story.

The GPEDC has launched DiscoverSTEAM.org
a collaboration among several educational, non-profit, and commercial institutions in Greater Peoria.  Our objective with this site is to aggregate and highlight STEAM activities across Greater Peoria.  

This summer, a group of 24 high school students from Peoria Public Schools spent their days hard at work with the Mayor's Youth Program. 
The program provides employment for these young people, working a variety of public works projects throughout the City of Peoria.   Read more here.

We are excited to announce that  Farnsworth Group  has joined the Greater Peoria
 Manufacturing Network. The addition of Farnsworth Group brings more valuable
 resources to the group, especially for architecture and engineering projects. Visit
 their member page and website to learn more about what they are capable of. 

Spots are still open or the 2nd annual CareerSpark, which is just around the corner on October 23 & 24 at the Peoria Civic Center. Registration ends on September 1.

CarreerSpark is an interactive, multi-industry
 career expo open to all 8th grade students in our region.  Through hands-on exhibits, this event helps spark students' interest in the exciting careers available in Greater Peoria.

Register your school.
Become a sponsor.
Or sign up to volunteer today!

More good news in Greater Peoria