Q2 2015 Economic Developments Newsletter
The Lake County Partners Quarterly E-Newsletter: May 2015
Lessons Learned from Our Initial Business Outreach Meeting
In recent months, Lake County Partners has accelerated its business outreach to ensure that existing local businesses are positioned to grow and expand in Lake County. As a part of this effort, Lake County Partners has met with senior leadership at many local businesses to discuss Lake County’s business climate, issues and opportunities.
Through these conversations, our staff has identified several emerging trends:
1. Many companies feel that the local economic climate has dramatically improved in the past 18 months; sales are increasing, with investment and expansions again becoming a possibility.
2. Unemployment in the county has dropped from nine percent to 5.8 percent over the past year. Many employers note that because of this, entry-level workers and highly-skilled production workers are becoming harder to find. New talent attraction tactics and partners are becoming vital.
3. The commercial real estate market is tight, but several recently announced projects (including the Antioch Corporate Center, Bridge Point 94 in Libertyville and McGaw Park in Waukegan) will create new space opportunities for business.
Lake County Partners, through our collaboration with the Lake County Workforce Development Department and the College of Lake County, is working with a number of companies on talent pipeline solutions. These solutions address both immediate and longer-term needs.
We are connecting with growing businesses across the county. If you would like to discuss opportunities for recruiting and training your workforce, expanding your facilities or growing your business in other ways, contact Kevin Considine, Managing Director of Existing Business Outreach and Strategy, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-597-1226, or submit your request online.
“Big Event” Speakers Say Lake County is in an Optimal Position to Grow
On March 4th, over 500 attendees gathered at the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort for our annual “Big Event.” Guests were greeted with a live string quartet performance provided by Young Midwest Artists and given an opportunity to network over breakfast with a record-breaking number of community and business leaders. Diane Swonk, Mesirow Financial’s Chief Economist and Senior Managing Director, provided a positive economic outlook for 2015, noting that with increased spending and hiring practices, the economy is expanding.
Mark Lautman, renowned economic architect and author, presented a keynote speech that highlighted the changing face of the workforce and the need for mentorship and young professional growth. Lautman noted that he has delivered over 50 similar presentations throughout the country in the past year, and that his expertise indicates that Lake County’s economy is in an optimal position to grow.
For additional coverage of the event, please see the recaps provided by the Chicago Tribune and the Daily Herald and watch this video overview created for us by Lake County TV. We would again like to thank our event sponsors for their support.
2014 Annual Report Provides Recap of Local Economic Development Efforts and the Lake County Promise
We recently released our 2014 Annual Report which provided a recap of local economic development efforts, statistics and trends, an overview of the Lake County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), a listing of Lake County Partners’ services and initiatives, and a summary of our work to promote the “Lake County Promise” concept and highlight the assets that Lake County can be counted on to deliver. To learn more about our 2014 accomplishments and our goals for this year, you can review the entire 2014 Annual Report online.
At the Big Event, we also unveiled the new Lake County Promise video to provide personal perspectives from Lake County professionals and visually demonstrate how our corporate citizens benefit from the area’s business climate, skilled talent base, healthy and active lifestyle, award-winning schools, easy transportation access, outstanding healthcare facilities, significant housing options and streamlined government processes. Click here to watch the video and learn more about the Lake County Promise and our campaign participants.
Municipal Investors: RSVP for Quarter Economic Development Advisory Group Meeting on Wednesday, June 3rd
On February 24th, Lake County Partners hosted the first Municipal Economic Development Advisory Group meeting at the University Center in Grayslake. Leadership from twenty-two municipalities in Lake County attended the meeting and received an update on Lake County Partners’ Business Outreach Program and marketing efforts, Leadership Lake County, and the Chicago Metro Metals Consortium and Metro Chicago Exports Initiative. Attendees also received municipality-specific economic development data, information on local events and programs from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and a presentation from ComEd representatives regarding the company’s Energy Efficiency Program and installation of a “Smart Grid” system in Lake County. In March, the Advisory Group was also invited to attend a workshop with Big Event Keynote Speaker Mark Lautman, where participants discussed ways to strategically position communities to attract the workforce that will be needed in the future.
The calendar has been set for the remaining quarterly Economic Development Advisory Group meetings in 2015, and our municipal investors are invited to attend these upcoming sessions:
- Wednesday, June 3rd from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the University Center in Grayslake
- Wednesday, September 2nd from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Cuneo Mansion in Vernon Hills
- Wednesday, December 2nd from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Cuneo Mansion in Vernon Hills
At the meeting on June 3rd, we will again provide a status report on our recent efforts and distribute up-to-date municipality-specific economic data. Attendees will also receive an update from Andria Winters, the Acting Assistant Director at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and have the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion with three site selection professionals: Tracey Hyatt Bosman, Managing Director at Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Company, Minah Hall, Managing Director at True Partners Consulting, LLC, and Brad Migdal, the Executive Managing Director at Transwestern.
A complete meeting agenda will soon be sent to municipal investors via email. To register to attend the June 3rd meeting in advance, please email Office Manager Rita Lumadue at email@example.com. RSVPs are required by Tuesday, May 26th.
Lake County Partners would like to take this opportunity to thank Power Up Now for presenting the 2015 Municipal Economic Development Advisory Group meetings.
Leadership Lake County's Steering Committee is Moving the Initiative Forward with Local Business Outreach and Focus Group Discussions
The Leadership Lake County steering committee recently convened to discuss and confirm its 2015 work plan. This initiative is geared towards attracting diverse young professionals to Lake County so that employers have access to this talent to achieve long-term organizational visions and communities and civic institutions can benefit from the participation and perspective of this significant demographic.
The steering committee consists of representatives from a number of Lake County businesses and is being led by County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor and County Board Member Nick Sauer. This year, the group is working with Lake County Partners staff and consultants a5 and Young Invincibles to get specific insight on millennial trends and form a baseline understanding of existing conditions, programs, organizations and resources that may support the initiative’s long-term objectives.
The steering committee is scheduled to meet again at the end of May to continue to advance the work plan. It is anticipated that the next phase of information gathering will consist of outreach to local businesses and focus group discussions with young professionals located in and outside of Lake County.
To learn more about the Leadership Lake County initiative, please contact Economic Development Manager Barbara Prusila at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-597-1230. To remain up-to-date on the steering committee’s activities and research, follow along on the Leadership Lake County Facebook page and Twitter account.
Welcome Catherine Hesser, Lake County Partners’ New Business Intelligence Analyst!
To continually improve upon the services that we offer to our investors, we recently welcomed a new Business Intelligence Analyst, Catherine Hesser, to our team. This position was designed to work across a broad range of initiatives to utilize data and technology in a way that improves the organization’s reporting capabilities and ensures that our investors have the timely information that they need to thrive. To learn more about Catherine, please see this press release.
ComEd’s Smart Ideas for Your Business
ComEd is working closely with economic development stakeholders to leverage the competitive Illinois energy market and ensure that local businesses benefit from the company’s energy efficiency program. Since 2008, over 3,100 Lake County-based businesses have earned over $18.1 million in businesses incentives and benefitted from an annual electric bill savings of nearly $12.7 million. To learn more about the ComEd programs, incentives and services that your business may be eligible for, consult this recently released flyer.
Link with Lake County Partners!
In addition to our Facebook and Twitter accounts, did you know that Lake County Partners also has a Linked In profile that is regularly updated with information on current news, events and services that are important to the Lake County business community? Click here to see some of the latest posts and sign up to follow our account.