The Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Economic Development Association (IEDA) have announced the five winners of "Edies," the Economic Development in Illinois awards.
“We are proud to recognize five outstanding economic development projects that were completed in 2015,” Todd Maisch, president and CEO of the Illinois chamber, said. “Economic development is key to Illinois’ continued growth and recovery, and these companies are making a difference. The Edies honor those who imagine, design, invest and build in Illinois, and by doing so bring jobs, growth and prosperity to our communities.”
The winners are Sunstar Americas, Invenergy LLC, America's Central Port, Method Products and Metro Chicago Exports.
“Each of the nominations was impressive, and IEDA is pleased to see so many innovative projects across the state,” IEDA Chair Angela Griffin said. “It is an honor to recognize these successful and growing businesses. Edie Award winners are investing in their communities, providing meaningful employment opportunities, and becoming distinguished corporate citizens.”
Sunstar used $55 million in private investment and $3.5 million in public investment to build a 302,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Schaumburg that will serve as their North American headquarters.
Invenergy LLC completed the ambitions Nelson Energy Center power plant, a gas-fired plant that produces enough electricity to power 640,000 homes. The project employed more than 350 people at the peak of construction, and employs 24 full-time employees.
America’s Central Port constructed the multimodal Madison Harbor in Granite City. Parts of this winning project include a new excavation of the new river harbor, a cargo dock and dry bulk terminal structure with truck and rail capabilities.
Method Products opened its Chicago soap factory this year in the Pullman neighborhood. The first factory opened in the historic industrial center which became known as the “South Side Soapbox.” The environmentally sustainable facility includes solar panels, a wind turbine and a rooftop hydroponic greenhouse operated by Brooklyn-based Gotham Greens.
Metro Chicago Exports' grants program last year provided $225,000 in funding to 54 regional companies to offset financial risks associated with exporting and investing in research, certifications and other factors necessary for the global marketplace. This resulted in $10 million in new revenue to the region.