News Archive


Our latest newsletter is bursting with exciting business announcements. See why manufacturing is on a roll and Lake County is nationally recognized as THE place to be.


Synergy Flavors has expanded its U.S. headquarters in Wauconda to update existing facilities and construct a new 40,000 sq. ft. LEED Gold-certified office building. The company is also preparing for an expansion of its Research and Development unit too. 


Bridge Development Partners recently broke ground on Phase III of the Bridge Point North development in Waukegan, which will consist of four new buildings totaling nearly 920,000 sq. ft. This phase is the final addition to a 225-acre master planned campus that has solidified Lake County as the industrial market’s location of choice.


Cristo Rey St. Martin, a colorful community showpiece and fantastic example of adaptive reuse in Waukegan, caught the eye of Crain's Chicago Business, who has named the facility among the 12 coolest office spaces in the region this year


Vernon Hills-based State Optical Co. has acquired AO Eyewear, a prominent former division of American Optical Corporation, and more than doubled the size of its manufacturing facility to build on its unique distinction as the largest maker of eyewear in the country.  


Our latest newsletter is live, in a fresh new format with insights into Lake County trends in talent, advanced manufacturing, tech, tourism & more. Trust us, you won't want to miss this issue.


Lake County has once again been awarded AAA bond ratings by both Standard and Poor and Moody’s—this designation keeps borrowing costs low and has led to significant savings. Lake County will realize more than $7 million in savings on borrowing costs over the next 9 years from replacing and reissuing two transportation bonds. 


Lake County’s own Baxter has become the first corporate partner to support Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science’s Helix 51 incubator. Baxter’s support will enable a series of programs to nurture early stage companies. Helix 51 launched earlier this summer with two companies, BLR Bio and Inspirotec, and recently welcomed Radiance Biosciences and SMart Stable Isotopes. 


“If you took Illinois manufacturing and made it its own country, it would be the 63rd-largest country in the world.”


Illinois has set a new tourism record for the 8th year in a row, and Lake County continues to be one of the top destinations in the state. In 2018, visitor spending brought in $1.43 billion and generated over $123 million in state and local tax revenue. It also supported over 11,000 jobs with a payroll of at least $300 million—a number that has grown 16% since 2013. Visitors flock to many destinations across the county including Six Flags Great America, which just had one of the largest attendance records among theme parks in North America. 


We don’t blame Bay Area techies for wanting to move to the Chicago region. To say that we have a lot to offer is an understatement.


The Chicago market is certainly deserving of its ranking among the top tech locations in the country. Lake County continues to see huge growth in this industry. 


Lake County’s strong housing market and well-regarded schools have once again made it one of the top places in the country for investment.


We’re delighted to share this new mapping resource for those wanting to look at real estate through the lens of demographics and industry. 


Lake County definitely promises top-ranking schools--Adlai E. Stevenson High School has just been honored among the top 15 in the country by Business Insider. 


Astronics, a leading provider of technologies for global aerospace, defense, and other mission critical industries, has moved operations and manufacturing for its subsidiary, Astronics Connectivity Systems and Certifications, into a 167,000 sq.ft. facility in Waukegan to meet increasing and projected demands.


The end of summer is a great reminder that #tourism is a big driver of economic development in Lake County. Did you know that Six Flags Great America has one of the largest attendance records among theme parks in North America? 


Lake County-headquartered AbbVie continues to strategically strengthen its position as a global biopharma leader with its recent acquisition of Mavupharma.


The Chicago suburban office market is one of the top in the country for investment because its highly trained labor force, coupled with job growth, award-winning schools, easy accessibility and strong housing stock produce such stabilized returns.


The beginning of the school year is the perfect time to reflect on the high quality of Lake County’s high schools. Lake County is a leader in education, with 7 local schools ranking in the top 30 in the state.


Manufacturer Biddeford Blankets has signed a lease for a nearly 100,000 sq. ft. space in Green Oaks to meet increasing market demand and continue to grow in Lake County.


Laser Precision is a great example of a Lake County company that is truly shaping the manufacturing industry's strategies to attract talent. The company’s multi-pronged approach to workforce development, including its work with Lake County Partners and the Workforce Ecosystem, is worthy of the many accolades in this business profile.


See why JLL says that the suburbs may be the smartest business decision you’ll ever make.


Young families are embracing the suburbs—and they’re one of the major factors fueling strong demand in Chicago’s suburban office market.


Lake County is setting the standard when it comes to workplace culture, thanks to companies like Baxter International Inc. The company was 1 of 14 across the nation named to the 2019 Top 10 Percent Inclusion Index, the highest-scoring category of Diversity Best Practices' annual Inclusion Index.


The Chicago market's deep talent pool & affordability (especially when compared with expensive coast markets like San Francisco, New York, Washington D.C. and Seattle) are driving job growth, especially in the tech industry, according to a new report from CoStar. 


More great news on the job front in Lake County: Recent data out from Illinois Department of Employment Security shows Lake County has had the highest year-over-year job growth of any county in the Chicago region.


Congratulations to the Lake County executives from CIBC, Caterpillar & Brunswick who were recognized among the top 50 leaders in tech from across the Chicago region by Crain's Chicago Business.  


Lake County’s own Deer Path Inn has been ranked the #1 Resort Hotel in the Midwest, 5th best Resort Hotel in the Continental U.S. and one of the Top 100 Hotels in the World by Travel + Leisure. The hotel provides an elegant stop for business travelers to rest while exploring all that Lake County has to offer. 


Our newsletter has a fresh look, but it still delivers the hottest business news in Lake County! Check out the latest issue for info on Fischer Paper's expansion, Laser Precision's talent attraction strategy, life sciences in Lake County, municipal leadership and insights into what our team is reading lately.


Judging from the recent tourism numbers, it’s clear that people are “up for amazing” in Illinois. The state set a new tourism record for the 8th year in a row, with the industry supporting nearly 343,000 jobs last year. Tourism is a big part of the local economy, and unique attractions have contributed to record-breaking incomes, and made Lake County one of the top destinations in the state.


With over 33,000 jobs and 122 companies in the biosciences industry, Lake County is well regarded as the home of the largest concentration of healthcare companies in the Midwest. The industry stands to grow even stronger in Lake County with the launch of Helix 51, a new bioscience incubator at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. The incubator will expand into space within RFU’s new 100,000 sq. ft. Innovation and Research Park, which is scheduled to be complete this fall. 


On the heels of AbbVie's recent $63 billion acquisition offer for Allergan, the global pharmaceutical leader has vowed to keep its thriving headquarters in Lake County. 


A Forbes list that confirms what we already knew - Lake County is home to some of the best employers in Illinois, including Discover, ComEd, the College of Lake County, Grainger, Caterpillar, Abbott, Baxter International, Wintrust Banks, AbbVie and Mondelez. 


Did you know that the ever-popular Golden Tee Golf arcade game was developed and built right here in Lake County by Incredible Technologies? Elaine Hodgson, the co-founder of this 34-year old Vernon Hills-based company, chats with Crain's Chicago Business about her company’s 11,000 machines, which operate in nearly all of the country’s 460+ casinos. 


Business is booming in Lake County! Congratulations to Revenue Well Systems, Zebra Technologies, and Impact Networking for being named to Crain’s Chicago Business Fast 50 List in recognition of being among the fastest growing companies in the region. 


Did you know that the biggest maker of eyewear in the U.S. is located right here in Lake County? State Optical is headquartered in Vernon Hills, in a 20,000 sq. ft. plant that employs 65. Learn more about this thriving company in a recent Crain’s Chicago Business profile.


Hawthorn Mall’s owner shares the details of a transformative $200 million investment set to pave the way for prospective tenants and a new lifestyle center in Vernon Hills. 


Lake County continues to be a hub for the life sciences industry, with Pharma Logistics breaking ground in Libertyville on a new 126,000+ sq. ft. build-to-suit project to house the company’s growing office and industrial needs. The new facility will be completed in early 2020, and help Pharma Logistics continue its rapid expansion in Lake County. 


Lake County Partners proudly accepted the Smash SMARD challenge from Horizon Therapeutics in honor of the Stinemans, a local family whose son has spinal muscular atrophy with respiratory distress type 1. Click here to see our president & CEO Kevin Considine take a pie in the face in recognition of this worthy cause! If you want to help, take on the challenge or consider making a donation to smash SMARD here.  


Lake County employers and property owners continue to take groundbreaking steps to make getting to work easier. In Bannockburn, the latest advancement is a new partnership between a suburban office park and Lyft to solve the "last mile" issue with free ride-sharing. 


Fischer Paper Products, a third-generation advanced manufacturer, is building on its success in Lake County by investing in a new facility that will be built in Antioch later this year. Fischer Paper Products worked with the Village of Antioch and Lake County Partners to lay the groundwork for the project, and Lake County’s strong workforce and municipal leadership were distinguishing factors in the company’s decision. 


Lake County's economy is stronger than ever and, unlike elsewhere in the region, the workforce has grown by almost 20,000 over the last four years. That's one of many reasons why, this year, we're letting the numbers in our Annual Report speak for themselves. Check it out here. 


Don't miss your chance to be a fly on the wall at our recent Big Event in this new video from our partners at Lake County!


If you missed our recent Big Event, or just want to relive it, don't miss our new photo album with all of the highlights. The Big Event has quickly become the premiere place in which to network and get inspired with forward-thinking business ideas. 


Our Big Event once again brought together over 500 business and civic leaders for a morning focused on continued collaboration and business growth. Click here to see what local leaders had to say, and to learn how this year's Talent Innovator Award Winner, Laser Precision, tapped into the Lake County Workforce Ecosystem to fuel their company's success. 


We’re looking forward to the biggest Big Event in history! Thanks to the many event sponsors who are making it possible, including First Midwest Bank, Lake County, Mesirow Financial, CIBC Bank, Horizon Therapeutics, Comcast, Innovation Park Lake County, Cushman and Wakefield and so many more. Click here to check out a full list of this year's sponsors.


Lake County is a powerful hub for the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, and so it’s no surprise to see our partners at AbbVie and Horizon Pharma rank #1 and #3 on Fortune’s list of the top places to work in the country. 


Lake County is well known for its secure and inclusive communities, and we’re proud to see so many of them receiving recognition on Safewise’s list of the safest cities in the state.


Lake County’s already-high quality of life is set to be bolstered by a new system of lakefront trails connecting the northernmost communities with Illinois State Beach Park. The plan will leverage natural assets to boost tourism and economic development in northeastern Lake County. 


We are proud to have a role in the groundbreaking public-private partnership that led to the creation of the new MetraMore service on the Metra Milwaukee District North Line, and our enthusiasm was matched by the 100+ community leaders that attended the recent launch celebration! Click here if you missed the event and want a recap. 


Another big economic development win for Lake County: Handi-foil has invested over $80 million in Antioch as the company constructs a 600,000 sq. ft. facility expected to start operations this summer. 


Lake County’s companies continue to lead when it comes to innovation. AbbVie has won FDA approval for new drug SKYRIZI that will expand the company’s enormous legacy in immunology. The company also has another pipeline drug under review, and it’s expected that it and SKYRIZI will generate a combined $10 billion in annual sales by 2025. 


Due to popular demand, we’ve expanded our sponsorship packages for the Big Event to provide maximum exposure in front of Lake County’s largest gathering of business and community leaders! Don't miss your chance to support this legendary event. 


Thank you to the 100+ community leaders who joined in celebrating the launch of the new MetraMore schedule at the Telegraph Road Train Station. MetraMore makes it easier than ever for Lake County businesses to tap into talent across the region. Learn more about MetraMore here. 


Crain's Chicago Business finds that the data supports what executives and economic development professionals have been saying: "Healthcare manufacturing is BOOMING in Lake County." 


Lake County stands out as a place where companies can easily connect with young talent, and this new partnership between the Baxter Center for Science Education and Round Lake High School is a great example of local connections in action. 


Don't miss our newsletter for the latest updates on the new Metra reverse commute service, our ever-popular Big Event, recent business expansions and more! 


Congratulations to HydraForce for being presented with the W.O. Lawton Business Leadership Award from the National Association of Workforce Boards for their work with Lake County Workforce Development to engage high schools, recruit apprentices and provide training and support to sustain the company's talent needs.


Corporate leader AbbVie has invested $40 million to rebuild North Chicago's middle school to arm students with skills and help build the next generation of talent. 


Congratulations to Lake County’s MacLean-Fogg for being recognized as the inaugural Manufacturer of the Year by the Illinois Manufacturers' Association for over 90 years of success as an industry leader. 


It has been an honor to work with companies like Laser Precision and our partners in the Lake County Workforce Ecosystem to build a talent pipeline that is fueling business success across the county. See how we're working together to build a solid manufacturing community.


The Chicago Tribune reports that Chicagoans are looking for a convenient location that allows for work/life balance, and they're finding it in Lake County.  


The Chicago region has once again been listed among the top biotech clusters in the country, in part because Lake County’s global powerhouses & institutions like Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science are well positioned for future growth. 


Our president and CEO tells ABC7 News that Metra's MetraMore reverse commute service is all about talent, and the new schedule is helping Lake County businesses attract and retain a qualified workforce. 


The latest issue of United Airlines’ Hemisphere Magazine discovers that Illinois is a trailblazer in life sciences because so many pharmaceutical, medical equipment and biotechnology companies concentrate in Lake County to enjoy a high quality of life and tap into an exceptional pool of talent. 


Van Vlissingen & Co. continues its streak attracting large tenants, welcoming Manhard Consulting into nearly 18,000 sq. ft. at the Lincolnshire Corporate Center. 


Don’t be fooled by the myth that everyone in the suburbs is headed to Chicago for work. Did you know that for every 4 Lake County residents that head south for work, 3 Chicago residents commute to jobs in Lake County? 


Starting March 4th, it will be easier than ever for Lake County companies to access talent, and for people who live in Chicago to grow their careers at one of Lake County's many nationally-recognized businesses. Learn more about Metra's new reverse commute MetraMore schedule here. 


We're excited to welcome our new Business Development Director, Ronald Lanz, AICP, to the team! Get to know Ron here, and click here to schedule an appointment with him to tap into our business outreach services.


Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science has received $2.5 million through federal tax credits to support the development of its new Innovation and Research Park which will create an estimated 500 direct and related jobs and have an economic impact of $117 million per year.  


Congratulations to Lake Forest College for being recognized among the nation's best colleges by the Princeton Review. This higher education institution is playing a big role in preparing Lake County's workforce of tomorrow. 


Lake County Partners is now on Instagram! Follow along here as we provide updates on Lake County's latest business and economic development news. 


Nexus Pharmaceuticals, a developer and manufacturer of brand name and generic drugs founded in a small office space in 2003, has experienced such success over the past 16 years in Lake County that the company recently invested $5 million in a renovated 38,000 sq. ft. building in Lincolnshire, joining the ranks of other successful medical and pharmaceutical companies that have recently expanded nearby including Sysmex America, FMI, SGS Technologies and Heathrow & Daigger Scientific.


The takeway from our latest Economic Update: Lake County residents spend less time commuting, with 70% choosing to both live and work here because of Lake County's high quality of life. 


Congratulations to the many Lake County-based employers recognized among the top in the country for diversity and inclusion by Forbes: AbbVie, Discover, Takeda, Baxter International Inc. & Abbott Laboratories.


Support for the Metra reverse commute pilot project on the Milwaukee District North Line continues to grow, because the enhanced service will give Lake County companies even greater access to talent. 


Thanks to the support of our investors, Lake County Partners celebrated 20 years of driving business growth and prosperity in 2018. In reflecting on the organization’s past and present, it’s clear that our role as the connector between business, talent and opportunity has never been more vital. See our end-of-year snapshot for a look at recent business headlines and our 2019 work plan strategy.


Partners in the Lake County Workforce Ecosystem successfully hosted the 3rd annual Lake County Engineering Internship and Job Fair, which connected hundreds of engineering-focused college students from across the country with top Lake County employers. The goal of events like these is to help students access the broad range of career paths available in Lake County and help employers attract and retain the next generation of employees.


Lake County continues to lead when it comes to innovation. Congratulations to Rosalind Franklin University of Research and Medicine’s Dr. Stutzmann and Dr. Peterson for being named to the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition’s Researchers to Know in Illinois List. 


The end of the year is a great time to reflect on the many award-winning businesses in Lake County. Congratulations to the many companies with a local presence that were recognized for promoting diversity in their workplaces by Great Place to Work.


ComEd has been approved to issue rebates up to $500,000 for businesses installing new solar energy systems—an incentive not possible in many states. Learn more about how to take advantage of the program here. 


Congratulations to Lake County-headquartered MacLean-Fogg for winning the inaugural Manufacturer of the Year Award from the Illinois Manufacturers' Association! Headquartered in Mundelein, MacLean-Fogg produces engineered metal and plastic components, operating 40 manufacturing facilities across 5 continents and employing more than 4,000 people.


The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board recognizes the importance of our partnership with Metra, the City of Lake Forest and companies like AbbVie and Horizon Pharma, noting that it just got easier for the 34,000 people who commute from Chicago to work in Lake County.


People love working in Lake County, which is why user ratings and reviews over the past 2 years on have ranked Pfizer, AbbVie and Discover among the top workplaces in the Chicago area.


Lake County is the location of choice for so many global business leaders. Congratulations to Mondelez, RoundTable Healthcare Partners, Hollister and Medline for being recognized among the top innovative companies in the region by Crain’s Chicago Business. 


Our latest economic update confirms that manufacturing is big business in Lake County, where more than 1 in 7 jobs is in the industry. 


Want to know more about our groundbreaking transportation partnership to address talent attraction in Lake County? That and more, including the latest business expansions and re-locations, can be found in our hot-off-the-presses newsletter!


Lake County offers everything a person needs to flourish & so it’s no surprise that our communities continue to be ranked among the best in the nation. Congrats to the City of Highland Park for being listed among the top 100 best small cities in the country by Wallet Hub. 


Lake County’s businesses continue to stand out as fantastic places to start and grow a career, as illustrated in the Chicago Tribune's 2018 Top Workplaces List. Congratulations to Horizon Pharma, Lundbeck US, Discover, Zebra Technologies, Libertyville School District 70, Impact Networking, Incredible Technologies, Mesirow Financial and Comcast!


The 2018 R&D Index from the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition hits home the importance of Lake County's robust manufacturing, pharmaceutical and professional service industries. Lake County-based AbbVie, Baxter International Inc., Takeda, LundbeckUS, Horizon Pharma, Caterpillar Inc. and Discover Financial are driving growth and strengthening the state's economy.


Congratulations to Lake County-headquartered Horizon Pharma for being listed among Great Place to Work’s Best Small and Medium Workplaces for the third consecutive year based on employee feedback! 


Attendance was at least triple what was expected as Mellody Farm opens and invites Lake County to enjoy its new twist on retail.


We're excited to participate in an agreement with Metra to advance a pilot project for two new reverse commute trains on the Milwaukee District North Line to create opportunities for enhanced service. Thanks to the hard work and support of so many local leaders, this unique partnership will give Lake County's business community even greater access to workforce talent. 


The College of Lake County recently celebrated the completion of the Baxter Innovation Lab--a state-of-the-art space made possible through a generous donation from Baxter International Foundation. The Lab will provide students with the engineering, STEM and manufacturing skill sets that they need to secure promising careers and support Lake County's thriving businesses. 


Global pharmaceutical leader AbbVie enjoys its Lake County location so much that it purchased the 560,000 sq. ft. property the company has been subleasing in Mettawa for $154 million. It’s the largest suburban Chicago office sale in nearly two years, and the transaction represents the company’s long-term investment in Lake County. 


Advanced manufacturer AKHAN Semiconductor recently debuted a new cleanroom in Gurnee that will produce the company’s patented “Miraj Diamond” technology, which have a huge impact on the smartphone industry by making screens six times stronger, 10 times harder and 800 times cooler than other glass. 


As we get ready to join our partner municipalities at the ICSC Chicago Deal Making Show this October, we're thinking about retail. Our latest Economic Update has a lot of positive news on that front: in-store purchases are still dominating sales, vacancy rates are down, retail absorption remains positive and Lake County is getting ready to cut the ribbon at Mellody Farms, a new 272,000 sq. ft. lifestyle center set to open soon in Vernon Hills. 


Check out this new monthly update from the TMA of Lake Cook for the latest transportation news roundup in Lake County. 


Diagnostic hardware and software provider Sysmex recently opened a new 98,000 sq. ft. multi-million-dollar “Center for Learning” in Vernon Hills to triple the company's training capacity. Sysmex is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary and has a large presence in Lake County—the company is headquartered in Lincolnshire and, in addition to the new training center, has a manufacturing facility in Mundelein and a distribution center in Buffalo Grove.


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