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CSEDC Summer Quarterly Forum in Tinley Park

IBEW Renewable Energy Coordinator Harry Ohde at the 7-22-16 CSEDC quarterly forum

IBEW Renewable Energy Coordinator Harry Ohde at the 7-22-16 CSEDC quarterly forum

Tinley Park Trustee Brian S. Maher, who is also the Chair of the Finance and Economic Development Committee, opened Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation’s summer quarterly forum July 22 at the Odyssey Country Club.

Mr. Maher has helped promote the investment of more than $450 million in new commercial and industrial development in Tinley Park and fostered amendments to Cook County incentive programs to encourage business and growth.

“The Business and Economic Development environment in Tinley Park is strong, healthy and very competitive,” Maher noted in his presentation comments. “We remain one of the most dynamic communities in the Midwest, with a diversified economy, financial strength, and a proven climate for business success.”

“One of the most important things the Village can do to help insure a high-quality business climate is to have modern, well-maintained infrastructure,” Maher added. “Working in partnership with the state and county, we are promoting continued enhancements along the 159th, Harlem, 191st and LaGrange corridors. Important and on-going water and sewer line work and safety programs are coordinated throughout the Village.  Coordinating with SSMMA, extended fiber optic broadband service has been provided to our Convention Center area. Over the last seven years, $15 million has been invested in improving 68 miles of Tinley Park roads through our pavement management program.” Click here for his presentation slides.

Cook County Director of Planning and Development Susan Campbell was another forum presenter who presented information on the new Industrial Growth Zone program. She shared President Toni Preckwinkle’s remarks from a press conference held earlier in the week. See the press release and related information here. One of the program’s goals is to cut the development timeline to establish new businesses from 2 years or more down to several months, she said.

Executive Director of Trails for Illinois Steve Buchtel discussed plans for Cal-Sag Trail, Iron Oaks and the park at Big Marsh, and how the recent investment in trails and parks are improving the environment while enhancing Southland communities. See his presentation slides here.

Mr. Buchtel, along with the Friends of the Cal-Sag Trail and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, is hosting a fundraiser to help finish building the Cal Sag Trail August 27, 12 p.m.–4 p.m. at the south end of Chatham Street Bridge. The event features Blue Island Beer Company brew, food from Restaurant Tenochtitlan, and a celebrity plunge as local public and agency officials line up to jump in the waters of the Cal-Sag. They include Steve, MWRD Executive Director David St. Pierre and CSEDC/SSMMA Director of Economic Development Reggie Greenwood. It’s a celebration of the trail conversion of Blue Island’s Chatham Street Bridge, and the MWRD’s transformation of the Cal-Sag over the last 15 years from maligned and misused waterway to a healthy, functioning recreation and nature corridor. Visit for more information, or stay tuned for more details on signing-up to take the plunge yourselves.

Iron Oaks Learning Center Manager Cheryl Vargo joined Steve to discuss the center’s nature playscape or landscape designed for play with the purpose of connecting kids to nature. See her slides here.

Finally, IBEW Renewable Energy Coordinator Harry Ohde discussed the Renewable Energy Training Center located in Alsip. It’s the first facility of its kind in the United States. The (National Brotherhood of Electrical Workers- National Electrical Contractors Association) IBEW-NECA Technical Institute opened this educational facility for the unionized electrical construction industry to learn skills in renewable energy technologies. Visit for more information. Click here for his slides, or here for a video.

We gratefully acknowledge the Village of Tinley Park for hosting CSEDC’s the forum, Michael Scholefield for emceeing it and the presenters above for providing invaluable information.

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