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DCEO is excited to announce the launch of our Programs and Services Guide 2.0. The upgraded system allows end users the ability to search Department programs and other content on a self-service basis. 

Popular Topics Include!

  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Illinois Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
  • Advantage Illinois - Participation Loan Program (PLP)
  • Illinois Department of Revenue 
  • Advancing the Development of Minority Entrepreneurship (ADME)

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As always, the Department is here to help, and we look forward to working with you! 

Sean McCarthy



 

LIHEAP Apps Can Be Filed October 1

 

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity’s Office of Community Assistance announced today that the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will begin accepting applications for winter heating assistance for seniors and people with disabilities beginning October 1, 2017.

LIHEAP is a state and federally funded energy assistance program for low-income families, in which heating bill payments are made on behalf of households. Applications are processed through a network of 35 local administering agencies around the state. These agencies will begin accepting applications on a first-come, first-served basis from the elderly and people with disabilities starting on October 1, 2017.
Customers must bring all required documentation when applying for assistance including:

  • Proof of gross income from all household members for the 30-day income period beginning with the date of the application.
  • A copy of their current heat and electric bills issued within the last 30 days (if they pay for their energy directly).
  • A copy of their rental agreement (if they are renting) showing that utilities are included, the monthly rental amount and landlord contact information.
  • Proof of Social Security numbers for all household members.
  • Proof that their household received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); Aid to the Aged, Blind, or Disabled (AABD); or other benefits, such as Medical Eligibility or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), if receiving assistance from the Illinois Department of Human Services.

A single-person household can qualify with a monthly income of up to $1,508; a two-person household up to $2,030; a family of three can earn up to $2,553; and a family of four can earn up to $3,075. Benefits are paid directly to energy vendors on behalf of eligible households. The exception is households whose heating costs are included in their rent. These households must provide proof that their rent is more than 30% of their income in order to qualify for LIHEAP benefits. 

Disconnected households and families with children ages 5 or under (includes all children who are not yet 6 years old, that is, up to 5 years and 364 days old) can begin applying for LIHEAP assistance beginning November 1, 2017. Individuals not eligible for priority enrollment can apply beginning December 1, 2017.   LIHEAP applicants will be served on a first-come, first-served basis until May 31, 2018 or until funding is exhausted.

The Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) program is a similar bill-payment assistance program and applications will be accepted starting October 1, 2017 for LIHEAP eligible households who are customers of one of the following utilities: Ameren Illinois, ComEd, Nicor Gas, and Peoples Gas/North Shore Gas utilities. Under PIPP, eligible households pay a percentage of their income towards their utility bill, supplemented by a monthly state benefit. Participating households are eligible for a reduction in outstanding bills for every on-time payment they make.  PIPP applicants will be served on a first-come, first-served basis until December 31, 2017 or until funding is exhausted.

For a complete listing of LIHEAP’s local administering agencies and additional information about the program, go to www.liheapIllinois.com.

 

DCEO Announces Apprenticeship PLUS Program Pilot Locations
Program offers workforce training to disadvantaged youth



SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced the locations of the initial Apprenticeship PLUS pilots under the Governor's Cabinet for Children and Youth. The pilots specifically target both in-school and-out-of-school youth between the ages of 16 and 24, and provide them with specific career education, a chance to earn industry-recognized credentials and do on-the-job training. 

"One of our main goals at DCEO is to train and cultivate the best workforce in the country," said DCEO Director Sean McCarthy. "A well-trained workforce is the greatest asset a company can have. By investing in apprenticeship programs and the future of hard working Illinoisans, especially our young people, we are creating an Illinois that offers an attractive environment for job creators and unlimited opportunities for workers."

 

  • In 2016, DCEO was awarded two U.S. Department of Labor grants totaling ~ $2 million to support Illinois' apprenticeship expansion efforts.
  • Apprenticeships can create career pathways for youth and adults that lead to successful, long-term careers and provides industries with a highly skilled workforce.
  • Employers can design pathways that will ensure they have a pipeline of workers who move into positions requiring advanced skills as they gain experience and knowledge.
  • Recently DCEO funded apprenticeships focused on the following sectors: Information Technology (IT); Manufacturing; Healthcare; Construction and Trades; and Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics (TDL)
  • Goal is to expand apprenticeship outside the "traditional" industry sectors utilizing apprenticeship and make available to all

DCEO offers workforce grants that fund apprenticeship:

  • Apprenticeship Plus Adult Programs
  • Apprenticeship Plus Youth Programs
  • Talent Pipeline Programs 

 

Boosting minority employment in Rockford through entrepreneurship

By Chris Green 
Staff writer
Rockford Register Star

 

Earlier this year, a pilot program called Advancing the Development of Minority Entrepreneurship was launched in three cities - Chicago, Rockford and Peoria - with the goal of expanding it statewide. Local and state officials believe the program will be a slow but long-lasting means of boosting minority employment.

Creating, growing, retaining jobs

The program identifies "high-potential" entrepreneurs who are people of color, women or veterans and provides start-to-finish support to help them launch or grow a business. The program is administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity through the Illinois Small Business Development Center network.
Horton was one of 12 current and future minority entrepreneurs who attended the six-week ADME program offered during the spring in Rockford.

Applicants were asked to complete a talent identification assessment developed by Gallup to determine each applicant's potential for success. Business plans, financial data and other proprietary information were scrutinized as part of the selection process. An entrepreneur liability score was created, applicants were selected, and over a six-week period the ADME participants received a business-focused education centered on development of a business plan, and learned how to access capital to get a business off the ground or expand an existing business.

"What it did is it gives us the individuals who really have the high potential to be entrepreneurs but most importantly to be able to create jobs," said Marcus Yancey, deputy director of the Illinois Office of Minority Economic Empowerment and ADME program manager. "That's what we're looking for. We are always looking at job creation, job growth and job retention."

Yancey said programs like ADME have the potential to increase employment opportunities for minorities because minority entrepreneurs are “more likely to hire people who look like them.”

In addition, ADME aims to help create mentorship programs and networks to help would-be and existing entrepreneurs even after the program ends.

Zina Horton has six employees. She is not looking to add to the payroll just yet, but she would like to increase the manufacturing of Zammuto’s granita, already sold at Woodman’s stores in Rockford and Beloit, Wisconsin, and at the Chiquita Food Market on South Main Street.

“One of the reasons I was really interested in the ADME program is I want to figure out how to get capital because the machines that we are dealing with are old,” she said. “They’re almost as old as this building, and we need new machines. For instance our ‘Gracie,’ which is our granita-making machine, costs almost $30,000. I need two of her. I need ice cream machines. They cost almost $10,000, and I need four of those. We’re talking $70,000 just in the machines. For me and my daughter, that’s a lot of money.”
Dave Buchen is a Rockford resident and director of the Small Business Development Center at Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon. He was one of two local ADME facilitators. While the ADME program is still under state review, Buchen continues to meet on an as-needed basis with program participants and is optimistic that a second six-week session will be offered.
Buchen cautioned, however, that education only goes so far — lenders must be willing to invest.

 

Farmweld Is a Great Asset to the Local Economy



DCEO provides economic development grants to agribusiness companies across rural areas of our state. The grants are available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. This summer, DCEO has been working with Farmweld, a manufacturer of fabricated metal equipment used for pork production.  Farmweld is planning an expansion of their operations in Teutopolis due to the increased demand for its hog growing accessories and products.

Farmweld was founded by Frank Brummer in 1979 as a local welding shop. During the early years, Brummer repaired many different brands of feeders for local farmers. At the encouragement of his farmer clients, who were weary of the poorly-designed feeder models then available, Brummer began working on his ideas and was soon building "Farmweld" feeders. Brummer learned about their operations and what they needed from equipment.

By the early 1990s, swine producers throughout the United States had taken notice of Farmweld products for their durability and performance results. Beyond feeders, Farmweld's product line had expanded to flooring, gating, gestation and farrowing equipment and drinkers. Robotic welding and 24-hour manufacturing were incorporated in 1994.  Entering the 21 century, Farmweld expanded their product line with the R Adjust which allows for precise feed adjustments for wean-to-finish and nursery feeders. Farmweld continues to seek innovations to ensure their products make raising hogs easier, more efficient and sustainable for producers.

Farmweld exports products to multiple countries where pig farmers were seeking products with longevity made of quality materials. As the result of growing demand Farmweld approached the DCEO to discuss an expansion of their manufacturing facility in Teutopolis. Serving the larger facility required an expansion of the village's water and wastewater systems that would cost nearly $300,000. The community has committed nearly $90,000 in village funding. The remaining portion will be provided by CDBG grant funding, a portion coming from the village closing their CDBGfunded revolving loan fund and the remainder from a CDBG economic development grant. Farmweld currently employs 46 at the Teutopolis location. As the result of the project, Farmweld, Inc. will hire ten additional full-time employees in addition to retaining the existing staff.

Farmweld is a great asset to the local economy and a good example of a small agribusiness succeeding in rural Illinois. The DCEO is proud to assist the company as they grow into the future.

 

Illinois Workforce Partnership Award Luncheon

The annual luncheon was held on Thursday, September 14 to recognize businesses, organizations and individuals that have exemplified outstanding leadership, personal accomplishments, and significant contributions to the Illinois workforce and economic development system.  

Nominations were submitted by local workforce areas in the following four categories:  Business Leadership Award; Innovative Solutions Award; Individual Leadership Award; and Individual Achievement Awards highlighting job seekers who have successfully overcome obstacles to find the next steps in their careers.

The Illinois Workforce Partnership is a collaboration of the 22 local workforce areas across the state.  IWP's mission is to facilitate information sharing and cooperation across the state, and to inform policy discussions relating to workforce development, economic development and educational issues. 

Award Winners:

Business Leadership Award:  HSHS Medical Group, LWIA 20
Innovative Solutions Award:   Northern Illinois Workforce Coalition, LWIA 2
Individual Leadership Award: Glenda Nicke, LWIA 13
Individual Achievement Awards:  20 individuals were recognized from 20 local workforce innovation boards in this category

 

Promoting Illinois around the World 

The Office of Trade and Investment (OTI) has been busier than ever promoting Illinois around the world. Since the beginning of summer, Illinois has led seven group trade missions, one of which was to Food West Africa in Nigeria.

To introduce Illinois' robust food processing industry to the world, OTI traveled to Nigeria to highlight Illinois manufactured products. Food West Africa is the premier food trade show in Africa, attracting over 4,200 visitors and hosting 140 exhibitors. Senior International Trade Specialist Sam Ntum led Illinois' trade mission to this annual show to provide a platform for Illinois companies to feature their products all under the State of Illinois pavilion. The participating Illinois companies included manufacturers of finished food products, organic food products, and food processing equipment. Trade mission participants had the opportunity to meet with potential customers attending the show and also through OTI's prearranged B2B matchmaking services.

"This event was well organized and the Food West Africa Expo was a great platform to introduce our USA origin food products to the Nigerian markets." said Bassam Faress of Now Health Group.

Rao Design International of Schiller Park, was also thrilled with his results at Food West Africa, where it was able to sign contracts valued at over $7 million.

The Office of Trade & Investment leads Illinois' small and medium-sized companies on 15 to 20 trade missions a year to international trade shows that cover a variety of industries including bio technologies, water technology, manufacturing, and food processing. Participating in trade shows is a great way to meet potential customers, agents, distributors and partners face to face and start developing a relationship. "These relationships build the foundation for international trade to succeed." said Margo Markopoulos, OTI's Director.

OTI also provides international market intelligence, regulatory insight, and general export assistance. The OTI team works year round to assist Illinois' companies. "Our team of market specialists are ready to assist Illinois companies expand their international reach" said Markopoulos. The State of Illinois is the number one exporting state in the Midwest and fifth in the United States. Illinois manufactured products can be found all around the world. Illinois businesses exported nearly $60 billion worth of products last year. Illinois' export industry helps create high paying jobs here at home, and contribute millions to the state economy. For more information about exporting from Illinois please visit www.exports.illinois.gov or contact the Illinois Office of Trade and Investment at 312.814.2828

 

Summer in Film

Illinois is #1 in the Midwest region, and in the top 7 in the country for Summer is always a busy time of year for filming production in Illinois. Projects including big-budget and independent films, network, cable and streaming television, digital and commercial productions call Illinois home throughout the season.
On the feature film side, WIDOWS from Oscar-winning director, Steve McQueen, and Illinois-based writer, Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) , wrapped production in late July. The much-anticipated film stars Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriquez, André Holland, Robert DuVall, Liam Neeson and Colin Farrell.   The independent political thriller THE PAGES from Chicago natives, writer/director Joe Chappelle and producer Colleen Griffen, also wrapped in late July.

On television, 20th Century Fox is producing a new series through the summer called THE CHI written and produced by Lena Waithe to air on Showtime.  Fox also brought back to Illinois their flagship drama EMPIRE starring Terrence Howard and Taraji Henson which began filming Season 4 in July.
NBC also began filming again in July on their Chicago franchise dramas, CHICAGO FIRE, CHICAGO PD and CHICAGO MED from Executive Producer, Dick Wolf.
Sony wrapped production in July on the sci-fi anthology series based on the stories of Phillip K Dick entitled ELECTRIC DREAMS, which will air on streaming giant Amazon Video.
Finally, in the world of comedy, POP TV wrapped production in early August on HOT DATE produced by Will Arnett from comedians Emily Axford and Brian K. Murphy, and, in July, Comedy Central shot a pilot entitled SOUTH SIDE from Chicago South Side natives, Bashir and Sultan Salahuddin.

A strong talent pool of cast and crew members, diverse shooting locations and a competitive incentive program keeps Illinois’ film industry growing. In 2016, Illinois’ film industry generated $499 million in estimated Illinois spending, a 51 percent increase over the previous year. The office worked with 345 television, commercial and film projects that generated 13,377 non-extra job hires over the course of the year.

The Illinois FILM Office promotes Illinois as a production center for film, television, digital and commercial advertising production, providing initial location services, and a production guide of Illinois crew members and production service providers. The Office also administers the state’s Production Tax Incentive program, which has been integral in growing a competitive film industry in Illinois. The 30 percent tax credit is awarded to productions for qualified expenditures on Illinois goods and services, including wages paid to Illinois residents. The goal of the Tax Credit Act is to grow, sustain and provide economic and job opportunities for local vendors, cast, crew and filmmakers.

 

Small Business Connections



The SBDC provides two monthly updates to their members. These newsletters are Regulatory News and Clean Energy Clips. Moving forward...the SBDC members will receive these articles with the DCEO monthly newsletter. We welcome the SBDC members and invite all others to add to our DCEO mailing list.

Regulatory News

Our monthly newsletter provides important information on changes in rule makings for business and industry groups, chambers of commerce, trade associations or anyone interested in small business issues. The newsletter also provides information on upcoming conferences, seminars, workshops, trainings, permitting and licensing, tax information and recent legislation.

Visit us Here

Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP)
Located at the Illinois Department of Commerce, a non-regulatory agency, SBEAP provides free confidential information and services to help small businesses understand their environmental obligations. 

For more information call 800.252.3998 or email dceo.sbeap@illinois.gov.

Free newsletter Clean Air Clips, to provide timely alerts about rule changes, reporting deadlines, and other articles of interest.

 

AROUND ILLINOIS - $30 Million Funding to Help Train Workforce for Future Energy Jobs
Today's ICC Filing is first step in developing solar and other renewable energy jobs pipeline

View source version on 
businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170731006266/en/



CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A combination of six business associations and social institutions have been named as recipients of funding for the development and administration of future energy jobs training as a part of the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA). Chicago Urban League, Austin People's Action Center, ASPIRA, HACIA, Chatham Business Association and the National Latino Education Institute (NLEI) will develop training programs related to solar and energy efficiency as a part of the FEJA's goal to prepare a workforce ready for the future energy industry.

ComEd, the Clean Jobs Coalition, and the grantee groups came together at Austin People's Action Center today to mark ComEd's filing of the FEJA Jobs Training plan with the Illinois Commerce Commission. Passed by the Illinois Legislature in 2016, and effective June 1, 2016, FEJA allocates $10 million every four years in 2017, 2021, and 2025-a total of $30 million-- for solar pipeline training programs, craft apprenticeships and multicultural training for individuals from diverse and/or under-served backgrounds. 

“Today’s filing with the ICC marks a critical milestone in bringing this Jobs Training program to life,” said Anne Pramaggiore, ComEd President and CEO. “This training program is one of several of the Future Energy Jobs Act's elements that help set a course for Illinois' energy future -- the gateway to clean energy and $4B in anticipated energy efficiency savings already have been set in motion and now we launch training for new economy jobs.”
Stakeholders and training organizations were engaged to help develop a collaborative plan. ComEd will continue working with these partners to design programs that will involve a breadth of organizations from various communities, and which ensure accountability and shared expectations.

Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition spokesman Pastor Booker Vance of Faith in Place said, “We stand in support of ComEd’s filing of a Jobs Training Plan with the Illinois Commerce Commission; a key joint initiative of the Future Energy Jobs Act that not only provides training but set forth the career pathway to create job opportunities for returning citizens, Foster Care Alumni and minorities and women contractors.”

“Today, ComEd has taken its commitment to building a skilled, diverse workforce to an entirely new level,” said Shari Runner, President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League. “Because of this generous contribution, the League is empowered to make an even greater impact in the communities we serve. We’ll increase the delivery of critical job training programs so that our clients will secure employment to improve the quality of their lives and that of their families.”

“This program will dramatically change the lives of National Latino Education Institute (NLEI) graduates, by preparing and positioning them in the market to find excellent jobs in the new energy economy,” said NLEI Executive Director Elba Aranda-Suh. “A partnership like this, which brings good jobs to the people who need them and highly-trained applicants to the employers who need them, is the kind of innovative approach that is going to propel Illinois forward, and NLEI is ready to lead the way in this field of job training.”

“Aspira is excited to join forces with ComEd and other organizations to prepare a diversified, well educated workforce. FEJA will help create a brighter future for underrepresented, talented youth by offering training and career opportunities in the emerging solar industry,” said Dr. Wanda Figueroa-Peralta, President & CEO, Aspira. “It will also help our state to serve as a national model for responsible economic development, innovation and collaboration.”

“We are thrilled that HACIA has been selected to participate in the Future Energy Job Act Training Program,” said Jorge Perez, Executive Director of the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association (HACIA). “We have a strong legacy of providing training for Hispanic and minority contractors that gives them capacity building skills, certifications and knowledge they need to grow their businesses. The FEJA Act will provide a new market place with tremendous potential for contractors to enter and grow their business.”

“ComEd and Chatham Business Association piloted a workforce training program pairing employment opportunity for local residents with energy efficiency consumer education, resulting in significant energy savings for an entire community,” said Melinda Kelly, Chairman, Chatham Business Association. “We are proud to be a partner in a program that is creating innovative model programs that will ensure jobs with economic value show up in our communities."

“Austin Peoples Action Center is dedicated to changing lives in our neighborhoods. As an organization and as a greater community we need to look around and see what we can change to make people's lives better,” said Cynthia Williams, President and CEO, Austin People’s Action Center. “This program is what this community has been waiting on: the opportunity to participate in Solar training pipeline and other recognized programs for crafts, trades, and skills in the electric industry, with a fresh air of possibilities for the disadvantaged and minority members of our communities.”

“The FEJA program will provide many new employment opportunities for citizens across the State of Illinois,” said Donald Finn, Business Manager, IBEW 134. “Solar technology is changing on a daily basis; therefore solar training is critical for the Illinois solar program to be successful. IBEW is very happy to be part of this training program.”

 

The state's most important job-creating program is about to be revived

Crain's Chicago Business

 

It looks like Illinois is finally getting back its most important job-creating incentives tool.

More than three months after Edge program-Economic Development for a Growing Economy tax credits-expired, caught up in the partisan warfare over the state budget, lawmakers on Aug. 13 are set to take final action to restore the program. And I'm told that everybody involved, including Gov. Bruce Rauner, is on board.

Scheduled for a vote in the Senate is a measure sponsored by Rep. Michael Zalewski, D-Chicago, that would somewhat reduce the value of the payroll tax credit and focus the program more on helping bring new jobs to impoverished area, but still put the development tool back in the state's toolbox.

The bill passed the House on a 102-5 vote, but stalled in the Senate. That caused some embarrassment a couple of weeks ago when it became apparent Illinois couldn't even begin to compete for the big new Foxconn plant that's going to southeast Wisconsin, because it had no incentives it could offer.

More than three months after Edge program—Economic Development for a Growing Economy tax credits—expired, caught up in the partisan warfare over the state budget, lawmakers on Aug. 13 are set to take final action to restore the program. And I'm told that everybody involved, including Gov. Bruce Rauner, is on board.

Scheduled for a vote in the Senate is a measure sponsored by Rep. Michael Zalewski, D-Chicago, that would somewhat reduce the value of the payroll tax credit and focus the program more on helping bring new jobs to impoverished area, but still put the development tool back in the state's toolbox.

The bill passed the House on a 102-5 vote, but stalled in the Senate. That caused some embarrassment a couple of weeks ago when it became apparent Illinois couldn't even begin to compete for the big new Foxconn plant that's going to southeast Wisconsin, because it had no incentives it could offer.

Sponsor Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, who is handling the bill with GOP colleague Sen. Pam Althoff of Crystal Lake, tells me the weekend vote is on and all signals are go.
"It's a damned miracle," Bush said, verbally shaking her head at how long it took to get this far. "We really needed to do this in the regular legislative session," which ended June 30, "but with all the focus on the budget, all the (legislative) oxygen was used up."
Sources tell me Rauner, who'd wanted changes in the old policy, is now happy enough that he'll sign the bill.

In fact, Bush said the GOP governor got everything he wanted except a clause allowing recipients to sell or transfer Edge credits to someone else. "We certainly can work that out at a later time," she said.
Bush emphasized that she'll be running a "clean" bill, one that's identical to the version already approved by the House. So Senate action should be final.

"We need Edge credits in place," said Bush, whose district is not too far from where the Foxconn plant will be. "We need to do everything we can to be competitive."

 

Bicentennial Buzz – Gov. Rauner Starts 100 Day Countdown to Bicentennial Celebration
Governor and Lieutenant Governor visit historic sites, first state capital on Illinois Constitution Day

 

KASKASKIA - Gov. Bruce Rauner announced the start of the 100 Day Countdown to the Illinois Bicentennial Celebration from Kaskaskia Island, the first state capital of Illinois.  The historic setting of the announcement is the site of the "Liberty Bell of the West" and was attended on Saturday by Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti, local and regional officials, Bicentennial Commissioners and the public.

Kaskaskia briefly served as the state's first capital in 1818 when Illinois became the nation's 21st state.  After the flood of 1881, the Mississippi River shifted eastward making Kaskaskia the only Illinois territory west of the Mississippi.

"The Illinois Constitution was signed right here on Kaskaskia Island 199 years ago today," Gov. Rauner said. "It is fitting that we begin our countdown to the Bicentennial Celebration where it all began."

Illinois high school and college students across the state have been submitting self-made videos on “Something to Learn about Illinois History.”  The 100 best videos are being chosen by a panel of judges and historians and will be posted on Illinois 200 social media platforms, by media partners WGNRadio.com, SJ-R.com and on other outlets. The deadline for submitting videos will be extended through September to allow school systems that start late to inform their students about the contest.

The first Bicentennial video was submitted by Melissa Crosby of Chester High School and has been posted.

Each student whose video is chosen will receive two tickets to the performance of Hamilton in Chicago on Dec. 3, 2017 – the official start of the Illinois Bicentennial Celebration.

To enter the video contest or to get more information, visit www.illinois200.com.

Bicentennial Commission Co-Chair Randy Dunn, president of the Southern Illinois University System, emceed remarks that included the Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti and Randolph County Board Chairman Ronald White.

“We are so thrilled that the governor and lieutenant governor chose to come to Randolph County to highlight our place in Illinois history,” White said. “We hope Illinoisans from all over the state will visit our historic sites throughout the Bicentennial Celebration.”

With the first County Courthouse in the background the governor and lieutenant governor joined a group of state, county and local leaders for a ceremonial signing of the 1818 Illinois Constitution.

After the Kaskaskia ceremonies, Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti led the group up the Kaskaskia/Cahokia Trail to the Pierre Menard House, the residence of Illinois’ first lieutenant governor. Local historians noted that Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti is the first sitting lieutenant governor to visit the Menard House in modern history.

“It is an honor for me to visit the Pierre Menard House on Constitution Day and celebrate the great history of Illinois,” the lieutenant governor said. “I look forward to celebrating our 200th birthday all across this great state.”

Illinois was recognized as a state on Dec. 3, 1818, and the official Illinois Bicentennial will be celebrated in 2018 with events planned across the state on Constitution Day, Aug. 26, 2018, and the grand birthday celebration at the United Center on Dec. 3, 2018.

unicipalities and organizations that are planning Bicentennial activities between Dec. 3, 2017, and Dec. 3, 2018, can apply for endorsement by the Illinois Bicentennial. Visit the Participate page at www.illinois200.com for more information and to submit an application for endorsement.

 

Deputy Gov. Munger is State's 'Point Person' Luring Amazon to Illinois

Chicago Sun Times



Former state Comptroller Leslie Munger says she is “swamped” overseeing economic development and other projects as deputy governor — but not too busy to roll up her sleeves to help persuade Amazon to build its second headquarters in Chicago.

Munger said Gov. Bruce Rauner appointed her “point person” for the state’s efforts to deliver the Amazon headquarters a few days ago.

She also told the Chicago Sun-Times that Rauner has personally spoken to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos about the coveted project.

“It requires working with the city, working with Intersect Illinois and DCEO [the Department of Commerce and Economic Opporunity],” Munger said Friday of her new assignment. “It requires working with various other agencies in the state to figure out our assets, what we can look at and consider to offer Amazon. My role is to come in at a high leader level to bring the team together to set the goals and roll up my sleeves.”

Both Rauner and Mayor Rahm Emanuel are working to bring the online shopping giant to Chicago. The $5 billion headquarters would net the city as many as 50,000 jobs, the mayor said last week in disclosing his own conversations with Bezos.

The governor said his administration is working with the city of Chicago’s economic development team at Intersect Illinois and “regional teams” around the state to produce a package of proposals to be submitted to Amazon in October.

Munger disclosed her own role as quarterback of Rauner’s team after the Sun-Times ran a report about changes in staff and responsibilities in the administration.

Munger’s complete duties as one of two deputy governors weren’t specified in an organizational chart released to staffers by Rauner’s chief of staff Kristina Rasmussen. The charts showed Munger in charge of Illinois Bicentennial events and corresponding with taxpayers. But the administration says her duties haven’t changed and that she is involved with economic development, human service agencies, external relations and stakeholder management.

 

EDGE tax credit overhaul gets Gov. Rauner's signature
Bipartisan legislation an important tool for job growth in Illinois



CHICAGO (Sept. 18, 2017) - Gov. Bruce Rauner today signed legislation (HB162) that overhauls the EDGE Tax Credit Program and provides much-needed transparency and taxpayer protections.
 
"The EDGE Tax Credit Program overhaul is a bipartisan job creation program that is innovative and competitive for businesses," Gov. Rauner said. "This legislation is another tool to use in our quest to bring high-quality and good-paying jobs to Illinois.  It is crucial for the future success of our state that we make Illinois a more business friendly environment through pro-growth measures."
                                                                                                                                                  
The EDGE tax credit program is a critical local economic development tool that incentivizes job creation, growth and competitiveness in the state. The new law extends the program until June 30, 2022.
 
Among the key components in the EDGE tax credit overhaul is that incentives will encourage companies to expand or move to underserved areas in the state, and eligibility thresholds will be lowered to allow more small businesses to grow in Illinois. The overhaul also implements a Gov. Rauner transparency measure, requiring all EDGE agreements be posted within 10 days of the project being secured in Illinois.
 
"Thank you to Governor Rauner for signing HB 162 and renewing the EDGE Tax Credit Program," said Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Sean McCarthy. "This is a critical local economic development tool that incentivizes job creation, growth and competitiveness in the state. We look forward to working together with companies - large and small—to move, expand and invest here in Illinois."
 
"It's important for us to have every tool available to attract and retain businesses in Illinois and ensure we can offer incentives that allow us to compete with neighboring states," State Sen. Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) said. "I represent an area that borders Wisconsin. The EDGE program is essential in helping border communities like mine stay competitive."
 
"Businesses in Illinois have been able to take advantage of the EDGE program for years," said State Sen. Pam Althoff (R-McHenry). "Wisconsin, which is just a stone's throw away, frequently solicits employers in this region to move across the border. But because of the EDGE program, our businesses are staying, providing jobs for thousands of our residents. Extending the EDGE program is especially important in today's Illinois economy as jobs are already leaving in record numbers."
 
"Representing a district on the Illinois-Iowa border, I know how important it is to support policies that make Illinois competitive in attracting new job-creators, and keeping established businesses within our borders. By extending the EDGE program, we're keeping a pipeline for Illinois jobs open," said State Sen. Neil Anderson (R-Andalusia).
  
"Reforming and extending the EDGE tax credit is an important step toward growing new jobs in Illinois and I'm grateful Governor Rauner is signing HB162 today. I look forward to working with the Governor's office and my colleagues on future efforts to stimulate economic growth for our citizens." State Rep. Mike Zalewski (D-Riverside), primary sponsor.
 
"This is about bringing good jobs to our communities. To compete with our neighboring states we absolutely must make Illinois a more attractive place to do business and renewing EDGE will help us do that," said State Representative Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville).
 
"Enacting these incentives makes Illinois significantly more competitive with neighboring states in attracting and retaining good-paying jobs for Illinois families," said Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego). "This is the type of bipartisan achievement everyone can be proud of."
"Working together on a bipartisan basis, we are now able to provide incentives that will enable job creators and entrepreneurs to flourish and expand opportunity for families all across Illinois," said Rep. Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale). "Growing our economy and creating jobs must continue to be among the State's top priorities."