Enhance Economic Opportunities
Integrate workforce development into our economic development strategies to foster balanced growth, revitalization, and a diverse economy to provide jobs, housing, and economic opportunities.
Lake County has implemented the new Purchasing website and has been updating vendor information to capture local status. To date, 1,250 vendors have registered, and 21% self-reported that they have an office in Lake County, 31% of registered vendors have women ownership, and 10% have minority ownership.
Business Visitation Program
To advance our strategy of improving the economic climate and economic readiness of Lake County, Lake County Partners (LCP) has been meeting directly with businesses to enhance business relationships, increase communication among core stakeholders, and understand local business climate issues and workforce development needs. As a result, several key themes have emerged:
- The economy has improved and many businesses are looking to expand or make major investments.
- As a result, industrial real estate is extremely tight, and what space is available is generally seen as “challenged.”
- Qualified talent is extremely hard to find, especially in low-skill and skilled manufacturing, finance and accounting, and IT.
Based on the needs identified in those outreach meetings, Lake County Partners has made over 30 connections with partner organizations including the Lake County Workforce Development Department, the College of Lake County, The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, The Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, ConnectVets, and more to help companies fill current positions, use grants to help train current employees and build pipelines for future hires.
Marketing to Target Industries
LCP implemented the second phase of its advertisement campaign that focuses on the “Lake County Promise” which includes a video featuring actual Lake County businesses and community leaders. LCP also integrated a targeted media strategy to communicate the “Lake County Promise” to a wider audience, including updates to its website, on-going themed social media posts, and a feature article in the Daily Herald Business Ledger.
Delivering Lake County’s Value Proposition
To advance efforts to enhance business outreach and retention, LCP forged a partnership with the Workforce Investment Board of Lake County (WIB) and as a result LCP has continued to expand its business outreach program and meet with local businesses in the key industry sectors of manufacturing, healthcare and information technology.
Promoting Lake County
There have been many recent positive headlines regarding economic development in Lake County, and Lake County Partners continues to promote the news through the organization’s digital media outlets (website, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn). Themes have included:
- The favorable employment data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which indicated a preliminary unemployment rate of 4.5%, which is more than 1.9% lower than it was just one year earlier and below the Chicago metropolitan average unemployment rate and the state’s non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate;
- The significant projects announced in recent months, including the Baxalta Headquarters in Bannockburn, the Bridgepoint developments in Libertyville and Waukegan, the CDW expansion in the Tri-State International Complex in Lincolnshire and the Medline expansion on the former Aon Hewitt campus in Lincolnshire; and,
- Recently released rankings highlighting Lake County municipalities and businesses for things such as our 11 Fortune 500 company headquarters, high quality of life, access to factors that make it easy to start a business and proximity to the highly valued metropolitan Chicago shipping port system.