Lawrence M. Walsh
In a recent study, Where Workers Work, conducted by the Illinois Department of Employment Security, Will County led the state in the percentage of change in the total number of private sector, unemployment insurance-covered jobs, growing by more than 30 percent over the past seven years.
“Will County continues to be attractive to companies from around the globe,” said Will County Executive Larry Walsh. “Will County recorded employment increases of 5.9 percent or 11,207 jobs from March 2016 to March 2017. This is in large part due to our strategic location, sound infrastructure, and skilled workforce which has kept our county on a very positive path forward.”
The study also reported significant growth in 2017 in manufacturing, healthcare, and sales-related employment. Each of these industries are strong in Will County, but Walsh noted challenges remain and a regional approach is the key to future success.
“I am proud to share these positive economic numbers for Will County and I believe this success is due to the collaborative approach that many of our elected leaders, private sector partners, and other stakeholders take in promoting our region,” said Walsh. “I am particularly optimistic of the regional economic development efforts that are taking shape with the Chicago Regional Growth Corporation that was begun in December 2013 as a concept of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and includes leaders from Chicago and the collar counties.”
Walsh said that this group has moved from a concept and now will become a permanent group comprised of public and private sector leaders. This group has a scheduled launch later this month in Chicago. The key goal of these efforts centers around the belief that the Chicagoland region can utilize each community’s strengths to assist the entire metro region in competing with peer regions from around the country and the world.
“The future remains bright for Will County, but we all know that continued investment in our infrastructure is critical to support further business growth and residential growth. Will County recently completed a Community Friendly Freight Mobility Study which lays out specific efforts that we must take to continue to take to balance the developments of new businesses with the quality of life for our residents. This is no easy task but we are working every day to tackle this challenge.”