By Anastasia Tuskey
JOLIET – In a press release issued May 28, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced 12 communities that will initially be designated Manufacturing Communities as part of the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership initiative. The Chicago Metro region, of which Will County is a significant partner, was included on this list.
The U.S. Department of Commerce is leading this initiative to accelerate the manufacturing sector nationwide by supporting long-range economic development strategies to attract and expand investment. Will County Executive Larry Walsh said he is pleased with this acknowledgment of the county’s role in the global trade market.
“Will County continues to attract manufacturing companies from around the globe,” Walsh said. “With our crossroads location, skilled workforce, and business friendly climate, there are a large number of corporations that call Will County home. We are honored to be recognized by Secretary Pritzker for our position in the international trade market.”
The Will County Center for Economic Development works to attract business investment to the county. President John Greuling said this designation will enhance the potential of Will County.
“This is one of the best examples of regional economic development and cooperation I have seen in the last ten years,” he said. “While Cook County led this initiative, all the collar counties took a role. This designation puts Will County on a priority list for funding for federal agencies to improve our infrastructure and be ready for additional investment opportunities.”
The Workforce Services Division [WSD] of Will County offers important career services in the field of manufacturing including specialized training for highly skilled positions.
“As one of the partner counties in the Chicago Metro Region’s designation as an “Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership”, the Workforce Investment Board of Will County will
be able to build on our already successful manufacturing training initiative,” said Pat Fera, manager of the Workforce Investment Board. “The strong manufacturing base in Will County was one of the key factors in the IMCP application. This designation will assist us in accessing resources that ensure we are able to continue to provide employer driven manufacturing training in Will County.”