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A Publication of WTVP

With $2.2 billion in capital projects currently in planning or on deck for the region, Peoria is primed for an unprecedented amount of growth. Through innovation, the familiar economies of the past – agriculture, manufacturing and services – are being transformed to create the new economies of the future.

Knowledge + Technology = Superior Medical Service
Families are spending more on health care than at any other time in our history, and people are coming from far outside our region to receive advanced medical care right here in Peoria. We have one of the most sophisticated, comprehensive, and available health care systems in the country, and we anticipate nearly a billion dollars of growth in our local medical market and expansions of service in all disciplines of medicine. Thousands of new jobs will be created through this expansion of service.

Agriculture + Manufacturing = New Energy
We foresee over $700 million will be invested in energy projects in our region in the next few years. Manufacturing and agriculture continue to be constant economic factors for us, and now renewable energy has become a force for our economic future. Wind farms are taking off, ethanol is igniting and bio-diesel is really heating up, translating to additional diversified employment opportunities.

Manufacturing + Global = Logistics

Moving things around has never been more important to the growth of our region. This region is strategically central to one of the world’s greatest consuming populations – the Midwest. Within one day’s drive of Peoria is nearly 50% of the U.S. population. The logistics industry is creating new jobs – non-exportable jobs that are family wage. The multi-modal transportation systems we have right here are the backbone of the supply chain, ready to transport products into and out of the Peoria region.

Knowledge + Technology = “Gazelles”
Hundreds of scientists, engineers, and other creatives are working in our area every day to invent new technologies. These ideas can be used to start a variety of small companies, but they need good management, access to funds, and room to grow. Such rapidly growing companies are called “gazelles.” A herd of gazelles are needed to insure that some will mature into the big companies and employers of the future. The Innovation Center on Main Street will be the location where many of these gazelles can grow.

The visitor-based economy also has the potential to generate enormous economic results for the region. These economy equations can go on and on, as can the growth of our region. The Heartland Partnership plays an active role in each equation, and now has the structure in place for accelerated future growth.

The Economic Development Council for Central Illinois (EDC) recently reformed its board of directors, formed the EDGE Group (Economic Development and Growth Experts), and launched a series of strategy groups to focus on the region’s future growth. They welcomed Vickie Clark, a Peoria native with a wealth of expertise, as Senior Vice President/COO, and enhanced their marketing department by recruiting Cindy Patterson from a sister organization, the Peoria Area Chamber.

TransPORT, the Heart of Illinois Regional Port District, announced its first Executive Director, Steve Jaeger, in September. With over 20 years experience with port operations, Jaeger will be responsible for driving development activities and the day-today operations of the recently established six-county port district. The Peoria Area Chamber has added new personnel as well. Ashley Pampel, a graduate of Western Illinois University, joined the Chamber as Marketing Manager, and Susan Jones joined as Administrative Assistant.

The Heartland Partnership is geared for progress, generating growth and prosperity in our Peoria region. IBI

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