Winners Revealed for Outstanding Economic Development Projects – the Edies Awards

Sponsored by: Nicor Gas

The Illinois Economic Development Association (IEDA)  in collaboration with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce is releasing the names of the winners of the 10th Annual Economic Development in Illinois Awards – the Edies.

The Edies honor outstanding economic development projects completed in the calendar year of 2017 that bring jobs, growth, and prosperity to Illinois communities.

“There were a variety of impressive economic development projects submitted this year. The Illinois Chamber of Commerce congratulates the Edie Award project winners and thanks them for their commitment and investment in Illinois’ future,” said Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch.

This year’s Edie Awards were supported by IEDA and sponsored by Nicor Gas.

“It’s energizing to see so many wonderful projects submitted statewide. These winners are what make Illinois prosper and grow. Congratulations!” said Kim Pierce, Chairwoman of the Illinois Economic Development Association.

In recognition of a special application, the Edie Award Committee created a new distinction for the 2018 Edie’s to recognize an organization for exceptional methods in economic development. The Edie’s are proud to award the EDIE Organizational Innovator Award this year.

The five EDIE project winners are:

  • CSL Behring (Kankakee) – CSL is a global biotherapeutics leader driven to save and improve lives by developing and delivering innovative biotherapies for patients with rare and serious diseases. To meet the growing need for lifesaving and life-improving therapies and increase production, CSL replaced their aging fractionation building with a new state-of-the-art facility. Called Project Everest, the facility will take plasma received from the CSL Plasma collection centers and process it into products that can be further refined on site, as well as at their sister plants in Australia, Germany, and Switzerland. The largest industrial employer in Kankakee County, the project has created 88 jobs.
  • Devanco Foods (Carol Stream) – Devanco is a USDA certified food manufacturing company that specializes in gyros, Italian beef, sausage, and other food products. The company had outgrown its old facility and saw a need to relocate its’ business from Elk Grove Village to a new manufacturing facility in Carol Stream to achieve a high level of food certification and expand their retail product line. They invested $16.5 million in the new 93,000 square foot facility and have plans for further growth in the U.S. and international markets. To operate the new facility, this project retained the 80 full-time employees and added 40 new positions ranging from sales to quality control.
  • Illinois Tollway (Hanover Park to Wood Dale) – Investments in infrastructure provide significant economic growth for communities. The Illinois Tollway’s $780 million investment in the new Illinois Route 390 Tollway from Hanover Park to Wood Dale has provided improved mobility and access for residents and businesses in the area. Greater movement to and from the O’Hare region has unlocked economic potential, making the area more attractive to a variety of businesses, especially freight and manufacturing firms. The 10-mile project created 6,200 construction-related jobs over the course of the project. The Tollway was nominated by the GOA Regional Business Association.
  • John Boos Co. (Effingham) – John Boos & Co is well known for their gourmet Boos Block cutting boards that are featured in notable venues as well as featured on cooking shows. John Boos relocated their business to a larger facility to facilitate additional growth in its service to the gourmet, residential, food service, and industrial markets. This $16 million investment in their state of the art facility exhibits their long-term commitment to Effingham and employing over 250 area residents. The Effingham County Chamber of Commerce nominated this project.
  • Magna International (Belvidere) – Magna International is a mobility technology company and one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers with 339 manufacturing operations and 89 product development, engineering and sales centers in 28 countries. Through strong community, government, and private industry collaboration, Magna built a new facility to manufacture exterior products for Fiat Chrysler Automotive’s Jeep Cherokee. Magna invested $42 million in new construction in Belvidere and nearly doubled the number of employees hired – from 460 full-time employees to more than 900. This significant investment has spurred downstream growth in the area. Magna is also committed to working with industry and workforce partners to address the skills gap in skilled trades, providing workforce program graduates job opportunities at its facility. Magna was nominated by Growth Dimensions.

EDIE Organizational Innovator Award Winner:

  • Chicago Regional Growth Corporation (Northeast Illinois) — The Chicago Regional Growth Corporation (CRGC) is a model for best economic development practices and has received recognition from the Edie awards for outstanding work promoting the Chicago region to the world. Prompted from a need to formally manage various economic development initiatives across the seven-county region, leaders from Northeastern Illinois created CRGC  to provide an organization that could identify and execute on opportunities to drive inclusive economic growth and prosperity across the region. Through CRGC’s leadership, the region will speak and act with one voice.