How important is international trade to the region? How big does the number $7.3 billion sound to you? That is the value of exported goods produced in the Peoria area in 2016. That number puts us second behind only Chicago and over three times the volume of Rockford. According to the International Trade Administration, exporting supported 325,000 jobs in Illinois. While a local number isn't available, you can bet that thousands of jobs in our region depend on trade with foreign countries.

On June 4, the State of Illinois International Trade Task Force organized a business roundtable with a number of smaller exporters to  share their successes and struggles on the international scene. As an interested observer, I was amazed at how sophisticated these relatively small companies were in engaging an entire world market. They are examples of how great things are happening in Greater Peoria.

Morton-based autonomous vehicle startup AutonomouStuff has been acquired by Hexagon, a Swedish company that is a global leader in digital solutions and autonomous systems .  The team at AStuff has been working hard for eight years at building and positioning a business in an emerging market and maintaining a strong focus on customer success.  Congratulations to Founder & CEO, Bobby Hambrick, a Greater Peoria native, on this amazing achievement!
Read more .

2018 Summer Intern Mixer Series Launch

Our Summer Intern Mixer series kicked off on June 7th at RLI and we had a great turnout! Almost 90 interns showed up to mingle and discover what Peoria has to offer. Thanks to RLI for hosting! 

Our next mixer is tonight.

When: June 14, 5-7PM
Where: CEFCU (5211 Landens Way, Peoria, IL 61615)

Afterparty: Kouri's Pub  ( 4421
N Sterling Avenue, Peoria, IL 61615

This report, provided by Bradley University, indicates that the Peoria-Pekin Metropolitan Area  retained its 2017 growth in the first quarter of 2018, up 0.4% from the year before, and 1.8% above the base period of the first quarter of 2010.  Read the full report here.

Our GP Works partners at Midstate College hosted their first intern in the Spring of 2018! Eric Black, a senior at Richwoods High School, had the opportunity to spend his afternoons with the Midstate administrative and IT staff. Eric got expereince in a variety of roles at Midstate, from helping at the front desk, to working on long-term IT projects.   Read more here.

The  National Science Foundation  awarded the  Tremont-based startup, Digital Dipstick, a Phase 1 SBIR grant, which is specifically designed to fund the research phase of a startup company. If the Phase 1 goes well, there is a Phase 2 SBIR grant that Phase 1 awardees can apply for, which could fetch up to $1 million in non-dilutive capital to fund the commercialization phase.  Read more .

Two years ago, Andrew and his then fiancĂ© Carly were living in Chicago, working jobs that they just didn't enjoy. Now, they've moved down to Peoria where they're happily married, they're enjoying going into work everyday. . .  Read more .

Introducing our newest team member: Mark Renick. Mark is excited to take on the role of Marketing Specialist and will help us make the most of our digital marketing tools.

More good news in Greater Peoria