IEDA YP Decatur Event

Midwest Inland Port

For our Inaugural Young Professional’s Event, 30 of gathered for a tour of both the Midwest Inland Port and Caterpillar facilities in Decatur Illinois.  Sponsored by Ameren, Norfolk Southern, and the Decatur EDC, emerging economic professionals were given a behind the scenes look at these two central Illinois facilities.

The Midwest Inland Port is a multi-modal transportation hub located in Decatur, Illinois that delivers both domestic and international flexibility for companies through a well-positioned transportation corridor, connecting the Midwest to the East, West and Gulf Coasts of North America.  It provides direct access to 3 Class 1 Railroads, 5 toll-free major roadways, and the intermodal has an average turn time of only 24-minutes.  Furthermore, it has a 250-acre ADM Intermodal Ramp processing international containers and a 2000-acre airport.

Afterward, we donned our hard hats and steel-toed shoe covers as Caterpillar provided us with an extensive look at their Decatur location.  We spoke to employees and learned a great deal about their processes and history. Also, we were able to get up close and personal with some of the largest vehicles in the world.  To close the day we met at local Sol Bistro for the traditional de-brief.

Basic Economic Development Course

Serving as a primer for economic development professionals and doubling as the equivalent to IEDC’s Introductory Course in preparation for the IEDC Certification Exam, the Basic Economic Development Course is an annual offering in the State of Illinois.  The Illinois Economic Development Association, along with Nicor Gas, ComEd, Ameren, and Hoosier Energy support our BEDC Program and help sponsor a number of early-career economic developers, planners, city managers, and elected officials.

Directed by Ivan Baker, Illinois BEDC is offered every October and more information can be found at  Over 1,600 professionals have graduated from the Illinois BEDC, which is now the second oldest economic development training program in the nation. This nationally-renowned course is instructed by 20 experienced and successful Professionals. First-hand knowledge is shared by practitioners (each with at least 15 years of experience) who have worked in several different states around the country.

The Illinois Economic Development Association would like to say “Congratulations” to the all the 43 members of 2018’s BEDC graduating class!  If you missed out this year, you can join us next year on October 21st, 2019 in Naperville!

Available Sites (IEDA)