A press release from the McHenry County Board:
Draft Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Available for Public Review; Open Houses Scheduled
ROCKFORD, Ill. – The draft 2016-20
(CEDS) for the Northern Illinois Region is now available for public review and comment.
The CEDS is a regional plan connecting three Northern Illinois counties on key initiatives to attract and retain businesses, improve workforce and infrastructure and promote other economic development activities.
The document prioritizes the region’s economic development efforts and is federally required for the purpose of applying for federal grants through the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).
Originally covering Boone and Winnebago counties, the updated document includes McHenry County, which shares industry strengths, transportation assets and other connections with the rest of the region.
The CEDS planning process aligned ongoing economic development work of local government, economic development organizations, workforce development groups, educational institutions and others, and connected those organizations for potential collaboration.
Private-sector representatives and members of the general public also participated in development of the plan.
Additionally, the CEDS used existing planning documents in the three counties to highlight regionally significant initiatives already underway.
“Today, Illinois is simply not competitive in attracting new businesses and encouraging existing businesses to expand here,” said Carolyn Schofield, a McHenry County Board member who served on the CEDS Steering Committee.
“Illinois’ workforce has experienced a net loss of 108,000 jobs over the last eight years, and 19,500 manufacturing jobs were eliminated in Illinois during the last 18 months alone.
“Improving our jobs climate is critical if we are going to put Illinoisans back to work, and I believe the strategies included in this plan will go far in enhancing the competitiveness of McHenry County and the region.”
The draft plan is available at www.eddni.org/ceds, along with an online form for public comment.
Physical copies are also available at the Economic Development District of Northern Illinois (EDDNI) office, 313 N. Main St., Rockford Ill. and the McHenry County Department of Planning and Development, 667 Ware Rd., Woodstock, Ill. The public comment period for the CEDS draft runs through January 8, 2016. Public comments can be submitted by emailing [email protected], calling (779) 348-7009 or visiting www.eddni.org/ceds.
CEDS Open Houses
Four Open Houses are scheduled during the public comment period for residents to learn more about the draft and provide feedback.
The Open Houses are:
Winnebago County – Thursday, December 10, 2015 from 4–6 pm, Winnebago County Courthouse, County Board Room, 8th Floor, 400 W. State St., Rockford, Ill. (prior to County Board meeting.)
McHenry County – Tuesday, December 15, 2015 from 5–7 pm, McHenry County Administration Building, 667 Ware Road, Woodstock, Ill. (Prior to County Board meeting)
Boone County – Wednesday December 16, 2015 from 4:30–6:30 pm Boone County Administration Building, 1212 Logan Avenue, Belvidere, Ill. (Prior to County Board meeting)
Winnebago County – Wednesday, January 6, 2016 from 5-7 pm, Regional Center for Planning & Design, 315 N. Main St.,Rockford, Ill.
During the Open Houses, copies of the draft and information about its key strategies and action items will be available. Additionally, staff and participants in the CEDS process will be available to answer questions and provide further explanation about the CEDS.
Following the open houses meetings, the public can provide additional input or ask additional questions by emailing [email protected], calling (779) 348-7009 or visiting www.eddni.org/ceds.
The Economic Development District of Northern Illinois (EDDNI), formerly the Rockford Region Economic Development District, was created in 2010 to oversee and implement the region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, a five-year strategic economic development plan that now includes Boone, McHenry and Winnebago counties. EDDNI works closely with many partners as an economic development research and planning resource for job creation and growing community wealth. It is governed by a 30-member board and is supported financially by Boone and Winnebago Counties, the Rockford Area Economic Development Council and Growth Dimensions for Belvidere-Boone County.
The McHenry County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) is the regional economic development entity for McHenry County. It is a public-private organization comprised of business and industry investors and local governments from throughout the county. MCEDC serves as a liaison between public and private sectors to support existing industry and attract new businesses.
Besides EDDNI, CEDS planning partners include Boone County, McHenry County and Winnebago County government, Growth Dimensions for Belvidere-Boone County, the Rockford Area Economic Development Council and McHenry County Economic Development Corporation. Technical assistance is being provided by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) and Northern Illinois University’s Center for Governmental Studies.
The CEDS update is funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and grant from CMAP. In addition, the CEDS process is also coordinating with the federally-funded White House Strong Cities Strong Communities (SC2) initiative.