Wednesday, April 25, 2012

COGFA Recommendation Vote Scheduled for May 1

A meeting of COGFA, the committee responsible for making a recommendation on the fate of the Dwight Correctional Center and other State facilities that the Governor has recommended closing, is scheduled for Tuesday May 1 at 10:00 a.m. at Room 400 of the Capitol Building in Springfield. The committee is scheduled to vote on the proposed closure at this meeting.

GLCEDC staff joined Dwight Mayor Wilkey, Dwight Village Administrator Kevin McNamara, and Dwight resident Mike Piper in Springfield yesterday where they met with members of COGFA and the Public Safety Appropriations Committee and distributed information regarding the Dwight Correctional Center.  AFSCME members were also meeting with legislators at the Capitol, seeking support in opposing the closure of the Dwight Correctional Center.

Monday, April 23, 2012

What is the #1 Manufacturing Activity in Illinois?

Thanks to its vast fertile farmland, both the agriculture and food processing industries are strong and well developed in Illinois.  Agriculture generates more than $8 billion annually mainly in the production of corn, soybeans, and pigs.  The food processing industry is the #1 manufacturing activity in the State with a value of $14 billion per year.

Also, Illinois is the location of some of the largest food trade fairs in the country such as the annual Food Marketing Institute and National Restaurant Association shows held at the McCormick Place in Chicago.  Linked with the food processing industry is a thriving food processing equipment industry.  In fact, Illinois the top state in the country for sales of food processing equipment. 

  • Number of employees: 120,000
  • Number of food manufacturing companies: 1,300
  • Value of the food processing industry: $14 billion
  • Value of the processing equipment industry: $2.7 billion

Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency incentives Help Revitalize Communities through Building Upgrades

Improving energy efficiency reduces operating costs and enhances is comfort in existing buildings. Investing in energy efficiency should be an obvious choice when renovating a building, but many building owners face roadblocks that make the process challenging. They might need expert advice on which energy efficiency upgrades to implement, or they might have trouble financing the improvements. A new program through the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program makes investing in energy efficiency easy and affordable for owners of commercial, industrial and multi-family buildings.

The Nicor Gas Economic Redevelopment Program focuses on serving communities that are in need of economic redevelopment, as well as businesses and organizations that create jobs, offer social services or provide affordable housing. The program offers financial incentives and extensive technical assistance, helping building owners with every step of the process, from evaluating energy efficiency needs to applying for rebates and finding qualified contractors.

“The Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program is a helping hand to our customers and communities,” says Jim Jerozal, Nicor Gas Director, Energy Efficiency. “This new Economic Redevelopment Program allows us to target resources to make sure building renovations in challenged areas are as cost-effective as possible. By leveraging energy efficiency to lower lifetime operating costs, entities in TIF districts and Enterprise Zones can spend less on their buildings and more on other improvement initiatives.”

Projects that complete the recommended energy efficiency upgrades can qualify to receive up to $100,000 in rebates. The exact amount of incentive is based on the energy efficiency features implemented and energy saved. The more the upgrades improve energy efficiency, the larger the incentive. In addition to receiving incentives, projects that complete energy efficiency improvements will benefit for years to come, enjoying lower energy costs and greater occupant comfort.

In addition to financial incentives, the program offers extensive technical assistance (valued at up to $20,000) to help building owners through every step of the process. Qualifying projects receive a complete evaluation of the building and a report detailing recommended energy efficiency upgrades, estimated savings, and incentives available from the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Programand other programs. The program also assists customers in applying for incentives, provides design review, and offers construction oversight to ensure quality results.

Projects that qualify for this program include those that are located in, or promote economic development in Enterprise Zones, TIF districts or other economically challenged areas. Other projects that could qualify are those that create jobs, offer social services, rehabilitate brown fields or vacant buildings, or provide affordable housing. Qualifying facilities should be at least 10,000 square feet.

To apply for this program or for more information, please contact the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Economic Redevelopment team at 773.328.7040 or or visit economic.

Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program offers are available on a first-come, first-served basis. This offer is subject to change or termination without notice at the discretion of the Economic Redevelopment Program. The Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program is a multi-year program funded by Nicor Gas ratepayers in compliance with state law through a small charge identified on bills as “Energy Program.”

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lost in Time, Inc. Receives Grant from GLCEDC

The Greater Livingston County Economic Development Council recently provided a $11,935.60 Commercial Building Improvement Grant to Lost in Time, Inc. in Fairbury for the improvements associated with their expansion of the bakery, kitchen and community room. The funds were part of a grant provided to the GLCEDC from the Livingston County Board. The grant program has assisted numerous businesses across Livingston County in renovating commercial space for new businesses and job creation. Lost in Time is now open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. The bakery is also open and features homemade cinnamon rolls, pies, cookies and cakes.

Sally Goembel, owner of Lost in Time, Inc. receives a check from Larry Vaupel, CEO of the GLCEDC.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

GLCEDC Hosts Unemployment Insurance Workshop

In conjunction with the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), the GLCEDC is hosting a Unemployment Insurance Workshop to assist local businesses with employment programs and so much more including: 
  • ”How To” Guide to completing the UI Protest Form with a subject matter expert
  • Work Opportunity Tax Credits From $2,400 up to $9,000 for each individual new hire
  • Illinois Labor Market Information
  •  Role Plays of Actual Cases of unemployment hearings and provides an awareness of the hearing process
  • Illinois Job Link Labor Exchange System is an internet database designed for both the employers and employees to find jobs/candidates that meet their criteria for employment
  • Benefits of Employing Illinois Veterans
  • New Employee Fidelity Bonding Program
  • Re-Entry Employment Services Program and Reducing Recidivism in Illinois
It will be held at the Elks Club Conference Room in Pontiac on Wednesday, May 16th.  Registration begins at 8:00am, and the program itself is from 8:30am - 11:30am.  Continental breakfast will be served.  The cost is $10, and you can RSVP at 815-842-2900 before May 7th.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Enbridge Pipeline Project Open House

As most of you may know, Enbridge Inc., through a US subsidiary, is proposing to build a nearly 600 mile crude oil pipeline from Flanagan, IL to Cushing, OK.  The pipeline will carry crude oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota and eastern Montana as well as from western Canada.

Enbridge is sponsoring an open house on Monday, April 23 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm at the Pontiac Parks and Rec Center at 900 N. Elm St. in Pontiac.  All members of the public are welcome to attend.  Potentially affected landowners have been mailed a postcard invitation.  The open house will be a come-and-go style format where the public may attend at any point.  Attendees will be able to view maps and displays, meet project personnel, ask questions, and provide input.