3 Powerhouse Speakers Will Talk Jobs, Business Growth, Exports at Friday Forum

3 Powerhouse Speakers Will Talk Jobs, Business Growth, Exports at Friday Forum

In an effort to bring together the top minds in job growth and economic development, the Kane County Jobs Committee will host three powerhouse speakers Friday in an open forum at the Kane County Government Center.

Friday’s forum will be especially valuable to business owners, economic development directors and people who care about job creation and business growth in Kane County. The three speakers will provide insights that will help you connect with government and public-private services you might not have heard about before.

The meeting is open to the public, free of charge and takes place at 10:30 a.m. Friday (July 14, 2017) in the boardroom of Building A.

Who will you get to see Friday?

Alan Reed, Executive Director – Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network

Reed will talk about the Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network, its connection to Kane County businesses and opportunities for advancement in the food and beverage industry.


The Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network, launched in April of 2017, is a food and beverage hub for firms, service providers, government, academia and a wide range of stakeholders. Its key functions include:

  • Leveraging the benefits of networking, sharing costs and collaboration.
  • Connecting firms to disparate resources.
  • Identifying and developing new products and services with partner organizations

The food and beverage industry is a large and important part of Chicagoland’s regional economy — about 4,500 food and beverage companies call the region home, accounting for 130,000 employees and $32 billion in annual sales.

The Chicagoland area, one of the world’s top global cities and a hub for trade, leads the nation in packaged food and beverage sales, but also boasts a vibrant local food movement and a large number of entrepreneurial start-ups. Chicagoland’s Food and Beverage industry cluster is the second largest in the nation.

“We believe that a growing, innovative food and beverage industry is vital to a prosperous Chicago metro area,” Reed said.

Strategy Manager Laura Williams and Managing Director Tom Hulseman — Metro Chicago Exports

Williams and Huselman will provide updates on Metro Chicago Exports, the Chicago Regional Growth Initiative and World Business Chicago.

The CRGI team is embarking on a tour to visit stakeholders throughout the region, increasing engagement as they develop the next phase of export programs and implement the foreign investment strategy for the region.

The tour will continue to introduce business owners, service providers and industry groups to the resources that Metro Chicago Exports and CRGI will provide, as well as help their team understand where they can add value in the future.

Metro Chicago Exports is an unprecedented collaboration between the seven counties in Northeastern Illinois (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will) and the city of Chicago to increase exports from small and medium-sized companies and to support regional job growth.

Created by the Chicago Regional Growth Initiative’s working group in September 2014, Metro Chicago Exports is a strategic economic development program and is part of the region’s broader business retention and expansion strategy.

“Our program is a component of the metro Chicago area’s export development plan in conjunction with the Global Cities Initiative — a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase, which helps leaders in U.S. metropolitan areas reorient their economies toward greater engagement in world markets,” Hulseman said.

As a public-private partnership between the city and the business community, World Business Plan’s Board of Directors is composed of prominent leaders who guide the progression of Chicago’s business climate.

WBC is responsible for the implementation of Chicago’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs, a coordinated effort to assess and expand Chicago’s economy.

The plan provides a set of goals, a framework for research and analysis, and as set of strategies which are currently being implemented to foster regional growth.