By Roneshia Thomas
From the September/October 2022 Issue
Governor J.B. Pritzker introduced a $15 million infusion to the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program this year. The program increases training opportunities, expands the talent pipeline, and boosts diversity in the construction industry and building trades. Pre-apprenticeship training programs will serve as many as 1,500 participants during the second program year, according to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
“The first round of the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program saw incredible results, and I couldn’t be more excited to expand this program to ensure that Illinoisans across the state have access to the resources and wraparound support that sets them up for success,” said Gov. Pritzker.
In addition to the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program, the state also offers the Economic Development for a Growing Economy Tax Credit Program (EDGE). The EDGE Program provides annual corporate tax credits to qualifying businesses to help create jobs, investment, and training programs in Illinois. The non-refundable income tax credit is equal to 50% of the income tax withholdings of new jobs created in the state. This percentage can increase to 75% if the expansion project is located in what is considered an “underserved area.”
Projects based in Illinois that invest $12 million and create 500 full-time jobs or invest $30 million and retain 1,500 full-time jobs may be eligible for tax credits to help expedite their growth through the High Impact Business Program.
“In Illinois, our greatest asset is our people—and we are committed to diversifying our workforce and supporting upward mobility for underrepresented populations,” said Gov. Pritzker. “Investing in our people is how we drive forward an equitable economy and help businesses hit hardest by the pandemic. Thanks to the leadership of our 44 community partners around the state, this commitment will provide participants the skills needed to build a better Illinois for everyone.”
Arlington Heights: Positioned For Success
Arlington Heights continues to grow and thrive. Home to 78,000 residents with a median annual household income of nearly $100,000, Arlington Heights is one of the largest business communities near the Chicago area, hosting over 3,000 businesses that employ over 40,000 daytime workers.
Location is one of the community’s key assets, offering incomparable positioning within the Chicago region. Arlington Heights is served by two Metra commuter rail stations, connecting it to downtown Chicago in less than 45 minutes. Arlington Heights also provides immediate access to three interstate highways and is conveniently located just 15 minutes from both O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Chicago Executive Airport (PWK).
Access and location have validated Arlington Heights as a great corporate destination. Both Amazon and Frito-Lay (a subsidiary of PepsiCo) are operating distribution facilities within the community and taking advantage of the community’s position within the Chicago metro area. Arlington Heights continues to serve as a longtime home for other significant employers such as GE Healthcare and Paddock Publications, which produces The Daily Herald. And this past spring United Airlines relocated 900 workers to their Arlington Heights operations center, adding even greater corporate investment to the region.
As part of the community’s efforts to grow and support commerce and industry, Arlington Heights also offers a Zero Interest Loan program available to both new and existing businesses. Interested businesses or property owners can apply for an interest-free loan of up to $20,000. Eligible expenses range from the purchase of new equipment to technology upgrades to improvements of existing facilities. Large industrial and commercial users may also be eligible for Cook County Class 6/7 programs, which can abate property taxes on redeveloped sites by as much as 60%.
Quality of life is exceptional in Arlington Heights, with many of its students attending some of the Chicago area’s top public elementary and high schools per U.S. News & World Report. The Arlington Heights Memorial Library is regularly ranked among the nation’s best public libraries for its size and has previously received a “five star” designation by Library Journal, the publication’s highest rating. The community is also served by the Arlington Heights Park District and its 50+ public parks and facilities. Healthcare rates highly as well thanks to the Northwest Community Hospital, which continues to expand its campus and patient services.
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Arlington Heights features a unique, vibrant, and award-winning downtown offering an enticing urban lifestyle with more than 25 shops and boutiques. Cuisine is a key ingredient to downtown’s success, hosting a diverse collection of nearly 40 one-of-a-kind restaurants and casual eateries. And Arlington Alfresco, which features a pedestrian-friendly outdoor dining area right in the heart of downtown, has been one of Chicagoland’s most sought-after dining destinations since 2020.
With an exceptional quality of life, a wealth of amenities, and unparalleled access throughout the Chicago area, Arlington Heights is primed to continue to grow and thrive.