Content related to ‘IL’

A Golden Corridor of Innovation

Posted on:

Industry-specific clusters are thriving along I-90 in northern Illinois due to close collaboration and proximity. One of the most successful industry-specific manufacturing hubs in the United States is located in an area known as the Golden Corridor, which stretches along I-90 in northern Illinois. In 2009, business and financial services employed 31,758 in the Golden Corridor; information technology and telecommunications, 17,185; biomedical and biotech, 12,009; defense and security, 10,191; advanced materials manufacturing, 7,320; and computer and electronics manufacturing, 4,186. A burgeoning cluster of precision machine tool producers and their suppliers has taken root in the Corridor, centered on several locations—Schaumburg, Elgin, Rolling Meadows, and Hoffman Estates. Among the major precision tool makers to establish operations in the Golden Corridor are industry giants Mori Seiki, FANUC Robotics, Amada, BIG Kaiser and Mazak Optonics. Amada decided to place its Amada Solution Center in Schaumburg because it was impressed with the Golden Corridor’s reputation for fostering an environment that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship, key factors in attracting highly skilled workers, a company spokesman said. The 133,000-square-foot Solution Center, the design of which was inspired by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, provides access to technological expertise and research, real-time demonstrations of metal fabrication systems, and advanced training and development to companies throughout North America. Amada America Inc. produces sheet metal fabrication equipment, including CNC turret punch presses, laser-cutting systems, press brakes, robotic bending systems, flexible manufacturing systems and software. According to several toolmakers, close proximity to suppliers and access to a huge market also were major attractions for locating within the Golden Corridor. “They all work together on various aspects of toolmaking. One may make a material holder while another performs a lathe process or another supplies the robotics to implement the cutting of the tool,” explains Gary Skoog, Hoffman Estates economic development manager. Elgin, Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg and Rolling Meadows currently are spearheading an effort to create the Golden Corridor Innovation and Science Park. Unlike a traditional science and technology business park, this entity is planned as more of a “virtual” park that will enable companies to network with each other to promote innovation. Such a network—using International Association of Science Parks guidelines–would facilitate communications and collaboration regarding supply chain management, cooperative outsourcing, and available labor pool, among other issues. Formative plans for the Innovation and Science Park envision a “three-legged stool:” the first leg is the network; the second leg consists of institutions of higher education in the area, many of whom have licenses for patented processes, are growing entrepreneurship programs, and… …Read More…

Metro Spotlight: Greensburg/Decatur, Indiana

Metro Spotlight: Greensburg/Decatur, Indiana Posted on:

A Location With Everything Going For It Uniquely situated along 1-74 between Indianapolis and Cincinnati, Greensburg/Decatur County has proven itself to be a great place to live, work and prosper. Area residents enjoy multiple golf courses, a state-of-the-art youth sports complex, first-class medical care, and dozens of community gatherings, events and festivals. Greensburg/Decatur County is a strong site selection choice for a variety of reasons, including labor and land availability, transportation access, quality of life, and a business-friendly tax climate. A reinvigorated rail line, I-74, and Greensburg-Decatur County Airport (which has a 3,500-foot paved runway) provide multiple access points to today’s lanes of commerce, with the utilities and technology capabilities in place to support businesses of all sizes. Whether dealing with customers on Main Street or in Tokyo, businesses can rest assured that their efforts can be supported in Greensburg/Decatur County. Greensburg/Decatur County boasts two shovel-ready sites, and training and education funding is available for development. Home to a new Honda auto plant, Greensburg/Decatur Economic Development Corp. is actively courting other overseas companies and will soon post a Japanese-language version of its Web site. Honda’s $550-million Decatur Plant Starts Rolling Honda recently completed its new $550-million automotive plant on a 1,700-acre tract in Decatur County, IN, near Greensburg, 50 miles southeast of Indianapolis. The plant is beginning mass production of fuel efficient four-cylinder vehicles this fall, with an annual production capacity of 200,000 vehicles and employment of 2,000 associates. The new Indiana plant, Honda’s sixth auto plant and 14th major plant overall in North America, will help boost Honda’s total North American auto production capacity from 1.4 million units to more than 1.6 million units in 2008, grow Honda’s employment in North America to more than 37,000 associates and increase North American capital investment to more than $9 billion. “Honda’s success in America has been based on our strong commitment to our customers,” says Koichi Kondo, president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., and chief operating officer of Honda’s North America Region operations. “We believe the great state of Indiana has what we need to continue this success-an outstanding community of people, excellent transportation systems, and the necessary infrastructure to support industry. It is an ideal location in the Midwest both for our network of parts suppliers and as a central location for all of our customers across the country.” In 2005, American Honda achieved record U.S. sales of 1,462,472 new Honda and Acura cars and light trucks, the ninth straight year of record annual sales. In order to meet… …Read More…

Illinois Corporate Moves

Illinois Corporate Moves Posted on:

Canadian Company Opens U.S. Headquarters Imperial Manufacturing Group, a Canada-based maker of equipment for the heating, air conditioning, ventilation and building products industries, officially opened its new U.S. headquarters in Alton, IL last year in July. The facility has so far generated 86 jobs, with more expected in the future. The Illinois Opportunity Returns program made the move possible by granting a $655,000 business investment package to Imperial. “The size of the new facility in Alton will help increase production and efficiency of sales as well as benefit the community with new job opportunities,” says Bradley Spencer, Imperial’s vice president, U.S. sales and operations. Imperial Manufacturing Group currently occupies just over half of the 222,400-square-foot Alton Center II, with 5,000 square feet of office space, a 30,000-square-foot manufacturing area, and approximately 87,400 square feet of warehouse and distribution space. The Alton Center Business Park is a 150-acre, mixed-use development located at the foot of the Lewis and Clark Bridge at the intersection of Illinois Route 143 and Broadway. It was a 2001 Phoenix Award winner for Community Impact at the National Brownfield Conference. Local Manufacturer Gets Big State Support The state of Illinois is investing $560,000 in Fabritech Inc., an aerospace manufacturing and maintenance, repair and overhaul business that specializes in rotor-wing aircraft. The money will go toward expanding the company’s existing operations at the St. Louis Regional Airport in Bethalto, IL. The company, which is making an almost $1.7 million investment, will create 26 new full-time jobs within two years and retain 46 jobs. Governor Rod R. Blagojevich also announced the certification of a boundary expansion for the Riverbend Enterprise Zone to include Fabritech’s expansion; zone status will give the company income and job creation tax credits. This support comes as a part of Opportunity Returns, the governor’s comprehensive economic development strategy to continue create jobs and expand the economy of Southwest Illinois. Fabritech, Inc. was incorporated in 1992 and currently operates a 25,000-square-foot facility at the St. Louis Regional Airport. The company’s expansion project calls for not only refurbishing and remodeling its existing facility, but also doubling the size of the facility. The expansion is expected to be completed by the end of 2008. Chicago Keeps a Hot Company In February, the Chicago Development Commission approved a plan by CareerBuilder, one of the highest-profile employment services and Internet media companies in the world, to keep and grow its corporate headquarters in Chicago. The plan includes the rehabilitation and reconstruction of office space in order to consolidate some of… …Read More…