Upcoming Webinar: Social Media 101

FEBRUARY 21 @ 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Presenter: Scott Clanin, Clanin Marketing

Ideal for those about to start their social media strategies, this workshop will cover the various social media platforms and their targeted users, the importance of handles and hashtags, ways to post and schedule to social media, and many other best practices.

The webinar will be approximately 45 minutes of presentation time followed by Q&A.

Scott Clanin is the owner and president of Clanin Marketing, a full-service marketing and design agency based in Champaign, Illinois, and has broad experience working closely with small to medium-size businesses and non-profit organizations. Recognized by Google for helping businesses grow on the web, Scott’s vision and leadership have helped numerous businesses successfully grow and achieve their goals with strategic marketing and branding strategies. Learn more at https://www.claninmarketing.com/.

Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2023
Time: 2 – 3 PM

Register: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_OIiRKlF5RVWAkovSqHwqLA
*After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

PLEASE NOTE: this webinar will be recorded and may be shared publicly. By registering for this webinar, you understand that your questions or comments shared during the webinar will be recorded and shared in a public domain.

This webinar is sponsored by the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC and presented in collaboration with Champaign County EDCChampaign Center PartnershipCommunity Foundation of East Central IllinoisEconomic Development Corporation of Decatur & Macon CountyLaunch at Champaign Public LibraryNew American Welcome CenterRantoul Chamber of CommerceUniversity of Illinois Research Park, and Visit Champaign County.

Upcoming Webinar: Google Business Profile

FEBRUARY 7 @ 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Presenter: Scott Clanin, Clanin Marketing

Explore how to use Google Business Profile (formally Google My Business), a free tool from Google to optimize your presence online. This workshop will cover the best tips, tricks, and best practices for driving customer engagement. Control what information customers see when they search for your business, respond to reviews, view customer insights, and much more! Plus, learn about the recently added features like Google guaranteed badges.

The webinar will be approximately 45 minutes of presentation time followed by Q&A.

Scott Clanin is the owner and president of Clanin Marketing, a full-service marketing and design agency based in Champaign, Illinois, and has broad experience working closely with small to medium-size businesses and non-profit organizations. Recognized by Google for helping businesses grow on the web, Scott’s vision and leadership have helped numerous businesses successfully grow and achieve their goals with strategic marketing and branding strategies. Learn more at https://www.claninmarketing.com/.

Date: Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Time: 10 – 11 AM

Register: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_GRjPXI-9Qaitv6jwqVQZOA
*After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

PLEASE NOTE: this webinar will be recorded and may be shared publicly. By registering for this webinar, you understand that your questions or comments shared during the webinar will be recorded and shared in a public domain.

This webinar is sponsored by the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC and presented in collaboration with Champaign County EDCChampaign Center PartnershipCommunity Foundation of East Central IllinoisEconomic Development Corporation of Decatur & Macon CountyLaunch at Champaign Public LibraryNew American Welcome CenterRantoul Chamber of CommerceUniversity of Illinois Research Park, and Visit Champaign County.

InnovaFeed Breaks Ground in Decatur

January 10, 2022 – French firm, InnovaFeed, broke ground Tuesday on what will become the world’s largest provider facility of insect protein.

InnovaFeed announced a strategic partnership with ADM in 2020 that will allow the facility to produce protein-rich feed, oils, and fertilizer through groundbreaking insect farming technology. The plant, which represents a 250 million dollar investment, will be located near the ADM plant in order to facilitate what InnovaFeed calls an “industrial symbiosis model” that will result in zero waste. This is accomplished by purchasing waste energy from ADM, piping the waste to the InnovaFeed plant, and then using that waste product to farm the insect proteins. Watch a video on the process HERE.

InnovaFeed plans to feed 10 billion people by 2050, either directly or indirectly through its production of animal and plant nutrition.

The target capacity for the Decatur plant will be around 60 thousand tons of protein, surpassing the company’s French plant capacity of 15 thousand tons, making Decatur’s plant the largest insect protein plant in the world.

In addition to the environmentally sustainable impact, the economic impact the plant will provide to the Decatur area. The plant will provide 280 direct jobs and at least 400 indirect jobs.

InnovaFeed anticipates the pilot facility will open late 2023 or early 2024.

“We are so excited that InnovaFeed is breaking ground today for many reasons,” said Nicole Bateman, President of the EDC of Decatur and Macon County. “Their story is one of not only innovation but sustainability and how a co-location model in their sustainable efforts can really be beneficial to a community and the development of future business efforts.”

We couldn’t be more proud to welcome InnovaFeed to Decatur,” said Decatur Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe. “We continue to attract innovative industries that fit perfectly within our community and also add to our ongoing revitalization efforts.”

Source and Photo Credit: NowDecatur.com

Additional Local Media Coverage:
Herald & Review
WAND TV

Upcoming Webinar: Digital Marketing Essentials

JANUARY 26, 2023 @ 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Presenter: Scott Clanin, Clanin Marketing

This webinar will provide you with the tools and techniques to strengthen your digital marketing strategies. Ideal for those starting off in digital marketing or simply wanting to improve their skills, this workshop will address topics in search engine optimization and marketing, advertising through Google, Facebook campaigns, tracking website data, and more.

The webinar will be approximately 45 minutes of presentation time followed by Q&A.

Scott Clanin is the owner and president of Clanin Marketing, a full-service marketing and design agency based in Champaign, Illinois, and has broad experience working closely with small to medium-size businesses and non-profit organizations. Recognized by Google for helping businesses grow on the web, Scott’s vision and leadership have helped numerous businesses successfully grow and achieve their goals with strategic marketing and branding strategies. Learn more at https://www.claninmarketing.com/.

Date: Thursday, January 26, 2023
Time: 2 – 3 PM

Register: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_q5XjobL3RjKX5DVFAczaBg
*After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

PLEASE NOTE: this webinar will be recorded and may be shared publicly. By registering for this webinar, you understand that your questions or comments shared during the webinar will be recorded and shared in a public domain.

This webinar is sponsored by the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC and presented in collaboration with Champaign County EDCChampaign Center PartnershipCommunity Foundation of East Central IllinoisEconomic Development Corporation of Decatur & Macon CountyLaunch at Champaign Public LibraryNew American Welcome CenterRantoul Chamber of CommerceUniversity of Illinois Research Park, and Visit Champaign County.

Upcoming Webinar: What’s in a Brand?

JANUARY 12, 2023 @ 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Presenter: Scott Clanin, Clanin Marketing

Behind every logo lies an invaluable brand that resides within the hearts and minds of customers, clients, and prospects. Why is branding important? Because people often choose products or services based on their perceived value rather than their actual value. Learn what makes a good brand and the best practices for developing your new company’s brand or rebranding an existing one.

The webinar will be approximately 45 minutes of presentation time followed by Q&A.

Scott Clanin is the owner and president of Clanin Marketing, a full-service marketing and design agency based in Champaign, Illinois, and has broad experience working closely with small to medium-size businesses and non-profit organizations. Recognized by Google for helping businesses grow on the web, Scott’s vision and leadership have helped numerous businesses successfully grow and achieve their goals with strategic marketing and branding strategies. Learn more at https://www.claninmarketing.com/.

Date: Thursday, January 12, 2023
Time: 10 – 11 AM

Register: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_dOqX5gmRTWCu9CqTyqeQBw
*After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

PLEASE NOTE: this webinar will be recorded and may be shared publicly. By registering for this webinar, you understand that your questions or comments shared during the webinar will be recorded and shared in a public domain.

This webinar is sponsored by the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC and presented in collaboration with Champaign County EDCChampaign Center PartnershipCommunity Foundation of East Central IllinoisEconomic Development Corporation of Decatur & Macon CountyLaunch at Champaign Public LibraryNew American Welcome CenterRantoul Chamber of CommerceUniversity of Illinois Research Park, and Visit Champaign County.

Millikin Creates New Agribusiness Major

November 8, 2022 – Millikin University announced a new major in agribusiness within their Tabor School of Business. Set to launch in fall 2023, the Bachelor of Science program will teach students to apply the fundamentals of business to agriculture and agriculture-adjacent industries.

The agribusiness major will provide students with a strong foundation in business and agriculture, along with a firm understanding of the science behind crops, soils, animals and sustainability. Specifically, students will learn how to navigate agriculture and business operations, evaluate financial decisions in the agriculture industry, make decisions about commodity markets and operate analytical and managerial technologies.

Once they’ve completed the program, agribusiness majors will have the business fundamentals and science background to excel in careers spanning the wide scope of the agriculture industry, from banking and commodities to elevator management.

Millikin’s decision to add an agribusiness major came from the sharp increase in demand from students and the growing number of management jobs in agriculture. RJ Podeschi, dean of the Tabor School of Business, cited a significant increase in third-party farm management for the surging demand for agribusiness candidates. The Tabor School of Business also recently added Business Communication and Cybersecurity degrees to their undergraduate programs.

Additionally, Millikin is filling a need for more agriculture programs across Illinois. Of the 285 colleges in Illinois, only 32 schools offered agriculture programs. The major is also intended to benefit local students interested in agribusiness. “Since the relaunch of the agricultural program at Richland Community College just over four years ago, enrollment has increased significantly,” said Jess Smithers, Director of Agricultural Programs at Richland. “We are excited to partner with Millikin to help ensure that the talent needs of Central Illinois’ largest and most important industry – agriculture – is sufficiently met.”

Through a partnership with Richland Community College, Millikin University is offering a 2+2 program agreement for students who graduate with an associate of arts degree with an agriculture concentration from Richland. “Richland Community College is pleased to partner with Millikin in the development of a transfer agreement, providing Richland agriculture students who complete the associate of arts degree with the option to transfer seamlessly into Millikin’s new agribusiness program,” commented Andy Hynds, Dean of Math, Science and Business at Richland.

“I think this program is a great fit for Millikin and Tabor,” said Podeschi. “We are seeing more students interested in agriculture as a result of quality programming through Future Farmers of America (FFA), and other initiatives at the middle and high school level. Millikin’s Performance Learning approach to education fits in with agribusiness in a very concrete way.”

Agribusiness students will also have a multitude of internship opportunities in Decatur and around Central Illinois. With several small grain elevators, cooperatives and agriculture operations nearby to a large global commodity trading firm, students will receive real-world experiences prior to graduation. From flying drones over fields to determine crop conditions to navigating the trading floor, the internship opportunities are just one of exceptional aspects of Millikin’s agribusiness program.

Millikin University’s Tabor School of Business develops students into entrepreneurs, strategists and innovators. By engaging in real-world business opportunities through professional internships, student-run ventures and managing Tabor’s $500k investment portfolio, graduates of the Tabor School of Business have a 100% graduate success rate.

Source: NowDecatur

ADM Expands with North America Microbiology Laboratory in Decatur

November 7, 2022 – ADM celebrated the opening of its new North America Microbiology Laboratory at the ADM Specialty Manufacturing Facility. The new facility doubles ADM’s current microbiology laboratory footprint and reflects a significant expansion of its testing capabilities, as well as its footprint in the Decatur community. 

“The expansion of ADM’s Specialty Manufacturing Facility demonstrates our commitment to growing our in-house testing capabilities and also our continued investment in the Decatur community,” said Veronica Braker, senior vice president, Global Operations at ADM. “This new facility will drive productivity and collaboration, accelerate innovation and bring even more high-level science and research employment opportunities to Decatur.” 

ADM’s Microbiology Laboratory is responsible for testing finished product from North America for lot release to the market. The lab initially started in the late 1960s, and has expanded five times through the years, with 2006 being the latest expansion next to ADM’s Decatur East plant. 

The new facility will provide testing services to more than 26 ADM manufacturing facilities located throughout North America. It features state-of-the-art technology providing access to the latest lab and testing innovation as well as the ability to process an exponentially higher volume of tests. The new lab will also allow the company to conduct advanced testing in-house such as kill-step validations for processing plants, including automation applications. 

In addition, the laboratory will become ISO 17025 accredited for the top five quality testing methods in early 2023 and will continue to expand its certification for other methods. A laboratory information management system will also be implemented at the new location in late 2023, allowing faster reporting to ADM clients. 

“We are very excited for this expansion because it enables greater innovation to unlock the power of nature in order to enrich the quality of life,” said Lee Perry, vice president, Quality and Food Safety at ADM. “The development of this state-of-the-art laboratory directly aligns with our mission and vision to strive for operational excellence, partner with operations to provide testing solutions and drive analytical performance.”

Source: NowDecatur

AgReliant Genetics Announces $18 Million Investment in Decatur Foundation Seed Facility

WESTFIELD, Indiana (Nov. 1, 2022) – AgReliant Genetics today announced it will invest $18 million in capital improvements at its Decatur, Illinois, foundation seed facility. Scheduled over the next three years, the improvements will expand capacity and add the latest technology and automation to better serve farmers across the U.S. and Canada.

“These investments are part of our commitment to deliver one-of-a-kind, high performing corn hybrids to farmers through our AgriGold, LG Seeds and PRIDE Seeds brands,” said Drew DuBois, AgReliant Genetics Vice President Operations and Supply Chain.

DuBois said the investments will include state-of-the-art seed drying and processing systems, warehouse and office expansion, and equipment optimization – all with a goal of producing parent seed with more efficiency and at higher volumes. Parent seed forms the genetic foundation for the company’s unique product lines. New systems will optimize seed processing and add flexibility to supply farmers’ needs.

AgReliant Genetics’ significant investment reinforces the company’s presence in the Decatur community, DuBois said. New technologies and automation will lead to skilled employment opportunities, and construction will utilize regional contractors and local labor.

“The operations and employees at our Decatur site are critical components of our company’s future growth strategies,” he said. “AgReliant Genetics is committed to growth, innovation and customer service, and we believe this is a benefit to the Decatur community, as well as farmers across the country.”

###

ABOUT AGRELIANT GENETICS

AgReliant Genetics delivers one-of-a-kind, high-performing hybrids farmers can’t get anywhere else. Regardless of the brand on the bag – AgriGoldLG Seeds or PRIDE Seeds – count on AgReliant Genetics for unique, diverse genetics with formidable yield and multiple trait options. Our seed-only focus opens new innovation for our brands and for our farmer customers, whether they grow corn, soybeans, sorghum or alfalfa. Learn more at AgReliantGenetics.com.

AgReliant Genetics and Design are registered trademarks of AgReliant Genetics, LLC and its related companies.

Contact: Amanda Fruland

Amanda.Fruland@agreliantgenetics.com
317-914-2098

Local Media Coverage:
Herald & Review

T/CCI to invest over $20 million to manufacture electric compressors and establish EV innovation hub in Decatur

DECATUR — Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today awarded the first Reimagining Electric Vehicles in Illinois (REV Illinois) tax incentive package to T/CCI Manufacturing in Decatur. The announcement follows Illinois’ historic passage of the Climate & Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) and the REV Illinois Act, both of which were part of a groundbreaking initiative to make Illinois the best state in the nation to drive and build an electric vehicle.

“Less than ten months ago, I signed Illinois’ groundbreaking Reimagining Electric Vehicles Act into law. Today, I’m proud to announce we’re welcoming yet another electric vehicle investment to Illinois – and the first of many that ambitious legislation will produce,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “And T/CCI isn’t just investing in their own success – they’re bringing the Decatur community along for the ride. We’re bringing all of Illinois into the 21st century economy, with good jobs and business opportunities, and this investment is yet another way we’re making that our reality.”

The comprehensive incentive package builds on Illinois’ vision of greatly expanding clean energy manufacturing and jobs while creating unique public-private partnerships that will provide opportunities for companies to collaborate on research and development and expand training. In addition to REV incentives valued at $2.2 million, the State’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget appropriated $21.3 million in capital grants to the City of Decatur and Richland Community College to create a first-of-its kind research and innovation facility and training program in partnership with T/CCI. Through competitive incentives and supporting the creation of new state-of-the-art facilities for EV companies to collaborate, Illinois is taking a unique and comprehensive approach to lay the groundwork for additional EV companies to locate or expand in Illinois.

“Our administration is committed to taking the steps needed for a green future that provides the economic opportunities to uplift Illinoisans. This announcement is a major milestone in getting us there,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “Illinois’ efforts to bolster electric vehicle manufacturing is creating jobs, investing in our communities, and leading the charge in effective climate action.”

Headquartered in Decatur, T/CCI currently manufactures a variety of compressors suited for combustion vehicles at its Decatur manufacturing facility, while manufacturing compressors for electric vehicles at its facilities abroad in China and India. T/CCI will invest more than $20 million to retool its Decatur facility to transition to electric compressor manufacturing, which will create more than 50 new jobs, while retaining 103 positions of its current workforce for a minimum total of 150 positions.

“Governor Pritzker’s vision for Central Illinois catapults our economic development strategy into the future” said Julie Moore Wolfe, Mayor, City of Decatur. “This is a huge investment in jobs, people, and innovation not only for Decatur and Macon County, but for the entire Central Illinois region.”

“This is a significant moment for T/CCI, the City of Decatur, and the State of Illinois, as we embark on new programs to transition our industry toward widespread electrification,” said Richard Demirjian, President of T/CCI Manufacturing. “T/CCI is recognized in the industry as a leader in compressor technology, already having developed a largest range of EV compressors in the market. We’re excited to use our expertise in innovation and component manufacturing to advance Illinois’ position and create a successful partnership that drives long-lasting economic growth.”

Compressors are a critical component for electric vehicles to function. Unlike vehicles with traditional combustion engines, the compressor in an EV cools the battery in addition to providing air conditioning in the cabin. T/CCI compressors are designed for up to 45,000 hours of life, almost twice the life of other compressor manufacturers. With the largest range of capacity this allows vehicle manufacturers to optimize their systems to achieve the lowest charging times in the industry, along with perfect cabin climate and optimal battery temperature. This ensures the safety of the driver or operator by keeping the battery cool, while also providing comfort in the cabin through air conditioning.

T/CCI partners with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) throughout the design and development phase to pave the road to sustainable transport and expansion. T/CCI’s reputation as a global leader in EV technology will play a critical role in advancing Illinois’ position as a leader in the market, creating a usage model to serve the needs of EV and other relevant industries across the world and conduct research to advance science and innovation in disruptive technologies.

“As we embrace the shift to electrification, it’s public-private partnerships like this that help accelerate our impact on sustainable mobility,” said Michael Grahe, Executive Vice President of Navistar Inc. “Our company has a long-standing partnership with T/CCI for their leadership to deliver technology-based solutions and has recognized their valuable contributions to the industry—including naming them 2022 Supplier of the Year in Innovation. We are excited to see our state making investments in American manufacturing that will help shape the future of transportation as we move to zero emissions.”

“Today’s announcement, the second in Decatur in the last few weeks, is another example of Governor Pritzker’s commitment to spurring economic development in communities across Illinois,” said DCEO Director Sylvia I. Garcia. “We’re proud to partner with leaders like T/CCI, who are investing in innovation, research and development, and manufacturing right here in Illinois that supports the growth of electric vehicles and continues Illinois’ leadership in green technologies.”

Building an Electric Vehicle Innovation Cluster in Central Illinois

As part of the larger incentive package, the State’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget included $15.3 million to Richland Community College and $6 million to the City of Decatur in capital grants to create an EV Innovation Cluster, including a Climatic Center for Innovation & Research Facility. This will support the growth of the EV sector in Illinois by creating innovative training programs and state-of-the-art facilities for research and development, which includes a full-scale climactic center for testing and simulations. The facility will be located on the T/CCI Decatur campus.

Richland Community College and T/CCI are working in partnership with the University of Illinois (UIUC) Grainger College of Engineering and Northern Illinois University on a training academy. The training academy will offer a new workforce training and development program with a focus on EV advanced engineering, software technology, a STEM pathways program, and accredited apprenticeship programs that offer world class training in electrification.

The Climatic Center for Innovation & Research facility will support technology advancements and climatic testing for high voltage systems, battery cooling and both A/C and heat pump capabilities. This Center will include a DC fast charger for electric vehicles for testing capability under both extreme cold and hot conditions. The Center will advance Illinois’ EV leadership position to deliver high-profile research and critical advancements in charging, range, emissions, and data analytics. The Center will be open businesses and researchers looking to accelerate opportunities for faster-to-market technology development, enhanced safety, emissions control criteria development and other advancements that will accelerate adoption of electrified technology.

This collaboration creates a new way of doing business by replacing the traditional siloed approach and combining resources to achieve higher levels of innovation, collaboration, and productivity. The capital investments in this public-private partnership model will build on the expertise, experience, and influence of all participating entities to move Illinois forward as a leader in EV and component manufacturing.

“Together we are establishing a new model for Illinois that sets the stage for how education, research and industry work together to cohesively advance us faster, invest in our people and grow our economy,” said Richland Community College President Cris Valdez. “This state-of-the-art facility will provide world class training in electrification, a registered apprenticeship program, along with immersive industry partnerships and testing available to the electric vehicle industry. At the same time, it will build the bridge from employer and unemployed to keep pace in a rapidly changing economy, and address the need to build a skilled workforce. We are extremely excited to be a part of this endeavor and grateful to Governor Pritzker and DCEO for their investment in Richland Community College.”

Learn more about the opportunities Decatur can offer EV and Clean Energy businesses. 

About REV Illinois

REV Illinois is designed to bolster Illinois manufacturing—already a top destination for electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing in the U.S.—and grow the ecosystem to create new capacity for EV and component parts production. REV Illinois offers competitive incentives to expand in or locate to Illinois for companies that manufacture EVs and EV parts or components as well as EV charging stations.

All incentives through REV Illinois are contingent upon job creation and retention, capital investments, annual compensation, and continued operation in the State. The agreement is in the process of being finalized and will be publicly available after it is fully executed.

Companies interested in learning more about REV benefits can visit DCEO’s REV webpage.

In addition to supporting companies looking to expand or transition to electrification, Illinois is also implementing a sweeping workforce development initiative through CEJA to ensure the state’s workforce is prepared for the jobs of the future. Through CEJA, Illinois is also incentivizing Illinoisians to purchase EVs through consumer tax rebates as part of its goal of putting 1 million EVs on the road by 2030.

Local Media Coverage:
Herald & Review
WAND TV
NowDecatur
T/CCI Manufacturing