Decatur, Illinois’ Recompete Plan led by Richland Community College Named a Finalist in Biden-Harris Administration’s Distressed Area Recompete Pilot Program

Contact: Julie Melton, AVP, Institutional Advancement
Phone: (217) 875-7211, ext. 6209; 217-855-7805
Email: jmelton@richland.edu

December 20, 2023

Decatur, Illinois’ Recompete Plan led by Richland Community College Named a Finalist in Biden-Harris Administration’s Distressed Area Recompete Pilot Program

Decatur, IL – The Decatur, Illinois’ Recompete Plan, led by Richland Community College, has been selected as one of twenty-two (out of more than 500) Phase 1 finalists in the Biden-Harris Administration’s Distressed Area Recompete Pilot Program. This announcement comes on the heels of the prestigious designation of the iFAB Tech Hub between Macon, Piatt, and Champaign counties as one of the 31 inaugural Tech Hubs nationwide, showcasing potential for rapid growth in key technology sectors, aiming to generate employment opportunities and enhance U.S. economic and national security.

This groundbreaking Recompete plan seeks an approximate investment of $20-$50 million to address critical inhibitors contributing to unemployment among underserved populations in Decatur.

Focusing on scaling our proven EnRich training model, the proposal aims equip workers with the skills needed for job opportunities in the burgeoning electric vehicle and precision fermentation sectors.

The Decatur, Illinois’ Recompete Plan outlines a comprehensive three-pronged strategy:

  • Workforce Training: Targeted training programs to empower residents for well-paying manufacturing jobs in the evolving electric vehicle and precision fermentation industries.
  • Wraparound Supports: Recognizing the need for comprehensive assistance, the plan includes robust support systems to address barriers hindering workforce participation, ensuring individuals have the necessary resources for success.
  • Strengthening Manufacturing Pathways for High School Seniors: Fortify educational pathways, particularly for high school seniors, creating opportunities for them to enter the manufacturing workforce.

“Richland has been committed to changing lives and improving the economic vitality of our communities through rigorous and effective workforce training for many years,” said Dr. Cristobal “Cris” Valdez, President of Richland Community College. “We are elated to be named finalists and are confident that, if chosen, we will continue to provide a prepared trained workforce through our EnRich Program by moving adults out of unemployment and out of poverty into productive careers that will strengthen our community, bolster the local economy, and most important, change individuals’ lives for the better.”

The potential impact of this initiative extends beyond the college, emphasizing community-wide coordination and collaboration between Richland Community College, Economic Development Corporation of Decatur-Macon County, Decatur Public Schools and the United Way of Decatur & Mid-Illinois. Nicole Bateman, President of the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur-Macon County, highlighted the significance of collective efforts: “We realize success by combining our strengths and forming deliberate, collaborative approaches to address our community’s challenges. An incredible amount of coordination between these four agencies was put forth for the first phase of this application process.”

Debbie Bogle, President of the United Way of Decatur and Mid Illinois, emphasized the need to create self-sufficiency in residents of Macon County and if chosen we will be able to make a significant impact in our community.

Underlining the transformative potential for local education and career pathways Ashley Grayned, Executive Director of Innovative Programs & Strategic Planning with Decatur Public Schools (DPS), emphasized the impact on local students: “Decatur Public Schools is ecstatic about the possibility of receiving this funding to connect our high school students to viable career opportunities in our community. DPS recognizes the need to be intentional about connecting our high school students to opportunities before High School graduation. This will increase the likelihood for students to become successful, thriving, productive citizens in our community, which has a direct impact on the prime age employment gap in our community.”

Approval of this plan would not be possible without the support of Governor Pritzker, Innovate Illinois, and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Their commitment highlights their dedication to fostering innovation and economic growth in not only the State of Illinois, but our community.

The proposal will now advance to Phase 2, where detailed implementation projects will be considered for funding. The Biden-Harris Administration, through the Economic Development Administration, remains steadfast in its commitment to ensuring that no community is left behind in the nation’s economic growth and recovery. Richland Community College stands ready to contribute to this vision, anticipating the opportunity to make a substantial impact on the lives of Decatur residents.

About Richland Community College
Richland Community College has proudly and successfully served the citizens of district 537 through a strong mix of workforce, technical and transfer education for the past 50 years. Our dedicated staff provides diverse and meaningful support services to make every student’s experience both personal and rewarding. (www.richland.edu)

Upcoming Small Business Webinars in 2024

Get ready, Macon County! As a partner of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC, we’ll be co-hosting lots of no-cost webinars that range from digital marketing to social media and everything in between. Take a look at the listings below and click on the link to learn more and register.

January 8, 2024 | 1-2 PM | How to Develop a Marketing Strategy for eCommerce
January 11, 2024 | 10-11 AM | Advertising with Google Ads
January 22, 2024 | 1-2 PM | Auditing Your Digital Existence
January 25, 2024 | 1-2 PM | Unlocking Facebook & Instagram Ads
January 26, 2024 | 10-11 AM | Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act

February 5, 2024 | 1-2 PM | The Do’s and Don’ts of Building an Online Store
February 6, 2024 | 10-11 AM | Email Marketing Essentials
February 19, 2024 | 1-2 PM | Using Email Marketing to Promote Your Online Store
February 27, 2024 | 1-2 PM | How to Respond to Online Reviews

March 4, 2024 | 1-2 PM | Using Social Media to Promote Your Online Store
March 12, 2024 | 1-2 PM | Marketing on a Shoestring Budget – Maximizing Impact with Minimal Spend
March 18, 2024 | 1-2 PM | Customer Reviews: Why You Need Them and How to Get Them
March 28, 2024 | 10-11 AM | Social Media 101

April 29, 2024 | 1-2 PM | Small Business Marketing Essentials

DCEO Announces $25 Million in Grant Funding Through Back to Business NewBiz Program

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has announced $25 million in available grant funding through the Back to Business (B2B) NewBiz program.

Following state recovery programming for businesses totaling $1.5 billion, the latest American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)-funded opportunity is designed to provide additional support for businesses in hard-hit sectors who launched during the pandemic. Businesses that launched in 2020 or 2021 and remain in operation have faced significant impacts during the pandemic, but they have not been eligible for other federal or state relief programming since they were not operational prior to the pandemic.

Applicants are encouraged to visit b2bnewbiz.com to learn more and apply from November 30, 2023 – January 11, 2024.

Learn more here: https://b2bnewbiz.com/

For upcoming webinars, click here.

U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) announces the Illinois Fermentation and Agriculture Biomanufacturing Hub (iFAB) as a Tech Hub Designee in Champaign-Urbana and Decatur MSAs

WASHINGTON, DC — The Biden-Harris administration, through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), today announced the designation of 31 Tech Hubs in regions across the country. This is the first phase of the new Tech Hubs program, which is an economic development initiative designed to drive regional innovation and job creation by strengthening a region’s capacity to manufacture, commercialize, and deploy technology that will advance American competitiveness.  The program invests directly in burgeoning, high-potential U.S. regions and aims to transform them into globally competitive innovation centers.

Tech Hubs was authorized by the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, a key part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which he signed into law in August 2022.  It is an economic development initiative designed to drive regional innovation and job creation by strengthening a region’s capacity to manufacture, commercialize, and deploy technology that will advance American competitiveness. The program invests directly in burgeoning, high-potential U.S. regions and aims to transform them into globally competitive innovation centers. The program was authorized by the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act – a key part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which he signed into law in August 2022.

These Tech Hubs are located across 32 states and Puerto Rico, and represent a cross-section of urban and rural regions. Designation is an endorsement of the region’s plans to supercharge their respective technological industries to create jobs, strengthen U.S. competitiveness, and protect national security. The Tech Hubs announced today focus on industries ranging from autonomous systems, quantum computing, biotechnology, precision medicine, clean energy advancement, semiconductor manufacturing, and more, and highlight how the Biden Harris Administration is investing in innovation and economic growth in every region of the United States.

EDA also awarded 29 Strategy Development Grants (SDG) to help communities significantly increase local coordination and planning activities. Such development could make selected grantees more competitive for future Tech Hubs funding opportunities.

“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is rooted in policies that will empower the United States to out-innovate and out-compete the rest of the world. Our Tech Hubs Program is fundamental to that mission and will supercharge innovation across the nation by spurring cutting-edge technological investments and creating 21st century job opportunities in people’s backyards,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Each of these consortia will help us ensure the industries of the future—and their good-paying jobs—start, grow, and remain in the United States.”

“Innovation, cutting-edge research, and creativity can be found in every community across America. Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda, the Tech Hubs program is seizing that potential and investing in regional consortia that will boost U.S. manufacturing, create more good-paying jobs and bolster U.S. global competitiveness,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. “The phase 1 designees and grant recipients reflect the diverse technological industries growing here at home and are symbols of American innovation and opportunity. The Tech Hubs program will provide them tools and resources to drive economic growth across the nation, which Americans will feel for generations to come.”

“President Biden’s Tech Hubs program will catalyze technological advances in communities across America, laying the foundations for future centers of world class innovation, manufacturing, and good paying jobs,” said Director of the National Economic Council Lael Brainard.

The Phase 1 winners were selected from nearly 400 applications from regional consortia that include industry, academia, state and local governments, economic development organizations, and labor and workforce partners. As part of the Tech Hubs competition, each consortium outlined plans for strengthening its region’s capacity to manufacture, commercialize, and deploy critical technologies.

“These outstanding Tech Hubs Designees exemplify place-based economic development strategies at their best: combining federal resources with regional assets, expertise, and coalitions to implement transformational opportunities, said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “As each region develops its own strategy to catalyze innovation and job creation, the entire nation grows more secure and more competitive.”

Today, the Department of Commerce is launching a second Tech Hubs Notice of Funding Opportunity, allowing these designated Tech Hubs to apply to receive between $40 million and $70 million each for implementation funding, totaling nearly $500 million.

The Tech Hubs designees are:

The Strategy Development Grant (SDG) Recipients are:

Read more about the Tech Hubs program at TechHubs.gov

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

 

Celebrating Manufacturing Month in Macon County

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richland Community College hosted the 2023 Manufacturing Days Celebration for high school students in Macon County. The two-day event showcased local companies and modern manufacturing careers, engaging students through interactive simulations and facility tours. Industry leaders gave students a taste of their daily contributions to our manufacturing sector.

Thanks to Richland Community College for organizing and hosting the event, and to the following companies for participating:

ADM
AGCO
Align Product Systems
Caterpillar
IBEW Midstate Electrical Training Center
Mason Manufacturing
Mueller Company
Primient

An estimated 4.6 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled in the United States over the next decade. Events like Manufacturing Days are coordinated in hopes that the next generation of manufacturers will become inspired for careers in manufacturing, along with those who are currently looking for an amazing career.

Warwick Carbon Solutions Announces Construction of First-of-Its-Kind Lower-Emission Power Facility in Decatur

 

 

Innovative Facility Will Utilize ADM Carbon Capture Capabilities As Well As CO2 Removal Technology to Achieve 90+% Capture Efficiency, With Capacity to Permanently Sequester More Than 2 Million Tons of CO2 Annually

Demonstrates positive environmental impact opportunity of CCS Technology in Reducing Carbon Emissions at Commercial Scale

HOUSTONOct. 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Broadwing Energy LLC (a subsidiary of Warwick Carbon Solutions) announced today that it has signed a formal agreement paving the way for Broadwing Energy, a first-of-its-kind power and steam facility that will capture over 90% of CO2 emissions with a combination of CO2 removal technology and ADM’s permanent carbon storage wells.

ADM and Warwick Carbon Solutions originally announced their intention to build a new power and steam facility in 2021. Since then, they have evolved and expanded the scope of the project: The new plan calls for Warwick to build and operate a natural gas power plant that will provide both electricity and steam to ADM’s Decatur processing operations, using removal technology to capture CO2 emissions, which will then be safely and permanently stored underground using ADM’s CCS capabilities. The companies expect the new facility to have a CO2 capture efficiency of over 90%, with the potential to permanently sequester over 2 million tons of CO2 emissions per year.

“Warwick is pleased to announce this important next step for Broadwing Energy and our partnership with ADM, which we view as a game changer in the development and the deployment of carbon capture and sequestration,” said Jonathan Wiens, CEO, Warwick Carbon Solutions. “Broadwing will showcase the industry-leading capabilities of ADM’s sequestration operations, Mitsubishi Power’s state-of-the-art power generation equipment, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America’s carbon dioxide removal technology for a proven and trusted decarbonization solution. This project will serve as a model for others to follow as we work toward decarbonizing our economy and the world.”

“ADM continues to lead in the decarbonization of the industries in which we operate,” said Ian Pinner, ADM’s senior vice president of Strategy and Innovation. “Our world-class carbon capture and storage facility is powering our ability to offer low-carbon intensity ingredients and applications to meet customer demand, acting as an accelerator for growth platforms like BioSolutions and a foundational enabler for our potential entry into sustainable aviation fuel. We look forward to working with Warwick to advance this important work.”

Broadwing Energy has the potential to support more than a thousand direct and indirect jobs during construction, along with approximately two dozen jobs for operation of the facility.

“Broadwing Energy demonstrates Decatur’s position as a global leader in technology and innovation, and industrial growth is not possible without the necessary utility infrastructure to support it,” said Nicole Bateman, president, Economic Development Corporation of Decatur and Macon County. “Broadwing impacts our community directly through the construction of the new facility and immediate job creation, which reinforces our collective efforts to train the next generation of both construction and tech workers. This power plant is an investment in the growth potential of our entire region.”

About Warwick Carbon Solutions
Warwick Carbon Solutions (WCS) headquartered in Houston, Texas is focused on the development of power and industrial energy transition projects. WCS has expertise in finding and developing high impact decarbonization projects in a complex industrial environment. WCS has an experienced development and construction team who can manage large projects from project scoping to operations. WCS’ partnership with Warwick Capital Partners provides a unique acumen and capability for project financing and structuring which is critical for development and execution. In the race to Net Zero, WCS is committed to build the next generation of sustainable infrastructure. For more information, visit Warwick Carbon Solutions website.

SOURCE Warwick Carbon Solutions

Rising Pharmaceuticals Bolsters U.S. Supply Chain by Expanding Sterile Dosage Capabilities, Including Injectables and Ophthalmics, with Opening of New Facility

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Rising Pharma Holdings Inc., dba as Rising Pharmaceuticals, announced the opening of a commercial manufacturing facility in Decatur, Illinois, to manufacture and package sterile products, including injectables and ophthalmic products in response to critical pharmaceutical supply shortages in the U.S. The site comprises a manufacturing and packaging facility spanning a combined 230,000 square feet. The move is expected to augment Rising’s existing product portfolio and offer a wider basket of products for customers.

“Rising Pharmaceuticals is proud to play a significant role supporting the healthcare system by producing more than 180 commercialized generic medicines and over 620 active SKU on the market. With one of the broadest portfolios of any U.S. generic pharmaceuticals company, we recognize that expanding manufacturing capabilities in the U.S. is mission-critical for our continued commercial success, as well as for public health in general,” said Vimal Kavuru, CEO of Rising Pharmaceuticals. “The new facility will adhere to stringent quality standards to produce generic medications that are effective and cost-efficient.”

“We look forward to creating a model of sustainable development through our partnership with the Decatur community, balancing efficient U.S. manufacturing growth while competing in the global pharmaceutical supply chain,” said Steven Coventry, Vice President of Operations and General Manager, Rising Pharmaceuticals. “Our facility is reemerging from a prior closure and has been a staple of the Decatur community since 1952. We anticipate that the new site will help create jobs, economic growth, and enhance healthcare accessibility.”

About Rising Pharmaceuticals

Rising Pharmaceuticals, a portfolio company of H.I.G. Capital, is a leading provider of generic and specialty-branded pharmaceuticals in the U.S. Rising focuses on the development, regulatory, and commercial aspects of the product life cycle while outsourcing certain manufacturing to its network of strategic CMO and CDO partners. The Company is based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and is expanding its manufacturing footprint with a new facility in Decatur, Illinois. For more information about the Company, please visit www.risingpharma.com.

Contacts

For Media Inquiries:
Marina Wissa, (201) 961 9013
mediainquiries@risingpharma.com

Glenn Silver, (646) 871-8485
Glenn.Silver@finnpartners.com

For Customer Service Inquiries:
Jason Eisner, (201) 961 9000
customerservice@risingpharma.com

EDC of Decatur-Macon County Launches New Job Board for Macon County Area

Decatur, Illinois – The Economic Development Corporation of Decatur-Macon County (EDC) launched a new job board today to help promote job opportunities in Macon County.

The job board currently features 25 local companies and nearly 400 jobs that are available in the Macon County area and include employers across various industries including education, government, healthcare, and manufacturing. Job seekers can view and sort by job function, company, and location. Jobs are updated daily and can be found on CareersDecatur.com. Job seekers are also able to sign up for alerts when a certain company posts a job, or a particular job function is selected.

“This job board is a major upgrade from the previous way of promoting jobs in the community and will help impact our ability to attract and grow our workforce,” said EDC President Nicole Bateman. “The board’s functionality will make the job search easier for job seekers by allowing them to look for work in a more user-friendly method. Job seekers are also able to apply directly to these openings with just a few clicks.”

Macon County employers who wish to be featured on the job board can contact Brandy Poshard at bposhard@decaturedc.com for more information.

 

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About the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur and Macon County

The Economic Development Corporation of Decatur & Macon County is a nonprofit public-private partnership responsible for non-retail business attraction, expansion and retention efforts in Decatur & Macon County. Composed of a combination of leading private sector employers, labor, educational institutions and a variety of governmental bodies, the EDC is uniquely positioned to address the needs of Macon County’s existing business and employer base along with prospective businesses looking to locate in and around the Decatur, Illinois area. The EDC works with local, state and federal partners to provide economic, technical and training assistance to businesses in the Macon County area.

 

 

 

Tillamook County Creamery Association Announces New Ice Cream Manufacturing Facility in Decatur, IL

 

TILLAMOOK, Ore.March 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA), the farmer-owned dairy co-op and Certified B Corporation® behind the fastest-growing family-size ice cream brand in the U.S., today announced plans to open an ice cream manufacturing facility in Decatur, Ill. in late 2024.

The Decatur facility will be TCCA’s first owned and operated manufacturing facility outside of Oregon and will be TCCA’s only facility solely dedicated to ice cream production. TCCA also owns and operates two manufacturing facilities in Oregon that are primarily dedicated to cheese production. The Decatur ice cream plant will manufacture Tillamook family-size (48 oz.) ice cream as well as Tillamook foodservice ice cream (3 gallon).

“Consumer demand for Tillamook Ice Cream has grown exponentially over the past several years,” said Mike Bever, Executive Vice President of Operations, TCCA. “This new facility is an investment in our continued national expansion plans. We are proud to be able to expand our manufacturing footprint even further as another step toward bringing Tillamook to more fans around the country.”

The Decatur plant was previously owned by Prairie Farms, which also used the location for ice cream production until closing the facility in early 2022. TCCA will spend the next 18 to 24 months updating the plant to bring it up to TCCA’s manufacturing quality standards, with a goal of October 2024 for the first full ice cream production run. The new plant is expected to create approximately 45 new jobs in the Decatur community.

Tillamook’s plans to operate here are very exciting for our community and we are proud that another company has chosen Decatur for their first Midwest facility,” said Decatur Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe. “This project also advances Neighborhood Revitalization, as the now-empty building along the MLK corridor will again be a bustling part of our economy as soon as next year.”

TCCA’s headquarters are in Oregon, where the co-op’s farmer-owners and many employees live and work. The company’s existing manufacturing operations in both Tillamook and Boardman, Ore. will continue to operate with no plans to reduce production or the expanding employee base at either location.

“Opening this Illinois manufacturing location will enable us to make more of our ice cream closer to the eastern U.S., where demand for our ice cream is growing fast. In the last year, we’ve added 1.6M households and grown ice cream sales nearly 60% in the eastern U.S.,” Bever continued. “Ultimately our continued growth is a ‘win’ for who and what matters most to us. It allows us to continue to generate meaningful profits for our farmer-owners, create growth and well-being opportunities for our 900+ employees and to give back to the communities where we live and work. Now we get to welcome Decatur into that valued group.”

Tillamook is a fantastic company that will fit in perfectly here,” said Economic Development Corporation of Decatur-Macon County President Nicole Bateman. “It’s no surprise they selected Decatur for expansion due to our strong business climate, affordable utilities and excellent location with access to a huge base of new customers in the Midwest.”

Tillamook dairy products are currently available in all 50 states across the U.S., including in Illinois and in the Decatur area. Find store locations at Tillamook.com/where-to-buy.

TCCA will begin recruiting to fill positions at its new Decatur facility later in 2023 and early in 2024.

About Tillamook County Creamery Association
Founded in 1909 as a farmer-owned cooperative, Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA) recently achieved the distinction as a Certified B Corporation® (B Corp™) and prides itself on its commitment to bringing to market the most consistent, best tasting, highest quality dairy products made in the most natural way possible. Guided by the belief that everyone deserves real food that makes them feel good every day, Tillamook® produces internationally recognized, award-winning cheese as well as exceptional ice cream, butter, cream cheese spreads, yogurt, and sour cream, made with unwavering values that never sacrifice or compromise quality for profit. TCCA is owned by a group of farming families, primarily based in Tillamook County, Oregon. TCCA operates production facilities in Tillamook and Boardman, Oregon and employs more than 900 people throughout the state. The Tillamook Creamery is one of the most-visited attractions in the state of Oregon, attracting more than one million visitors each year. For more information on TCCA and Tillamook, visit Tillamook.com.

Media Contacts:
Liz Conant
, FleishmanHillard
liz.conant@fleishman.com

Jenna CerrutiTillamook
jcerruti@tillamook.com

Local Media Coverage:
Herald & Review
NowDecatur
WCIA 3
WCIS

Learn More:
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