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Kankakee County Positioned in Top 10 Nationally for Millennial Growth

KANKAKEE, IL – January 24, 2017 – A report issued Monday by leading location advisory, economic incentive and corporate real estate services firm Site Selection Group places the Kankakee Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) – which shares boundaries with Kankakee County – among the nation’s top 10 metros positioned for growth of the millennial demographic. Using data provided by Claritas, Dallas-based SSG’s “The Best Metro Areas for a Talent Pipeline” forecasts that the Kankakee MSA will experience 6.1% growth of the millennial population – classified by the firm as the post-college population under 35 – from 2016 to 2021.

The Kankakee MSA is one of only three Midwest metros with populations greater than 100,000 analyzed by SSG to rank in the nation’s top 10 in propensity for millennial growth.

From the SSG report:

“When making site selection decisions, companies are faced with selecting locations that possess the skillsets needed to satisfy their immediate hiring needs. They also must look for communities that have the workforce development infrastructure and broad demographic profiles needed to develop talent over an extended period of time.

“Given the drop in unemployment and the increased competition for workers, both objectives have proven to be difficult propositions for companies in the U.S. …  Across industries, whether to access new and in-demand skillsets or to backfill the large number of baby boomers entering retirement, new and expanding companies place a premium on hiring and retaining the millennial workforce.”

“This analysis is welcome news to our office and community,” remarked Economic Alliance of Kankakee County President/CEO Tim Nugent. “Through our many conversations with our existing primary employers as well as industrial prospects, we are acutely aware of the urgency to develop a strong talent pipeline.

“Our highest priority is working actively with our local, regional and national partners,” Nugent continued, “to position our community for sustainable growth by preparing our residents for the dynamic employment opportunities of today and tomorrow.”

The Kankakee MSA – having experienced 15% gross domestic product growth over the last five years and more than $1.2 billion in major capital investment over the last three years – has been ranked Illinois’ #1 small metro for job, wage and salary, and technology growth three of the last four years in the Milken Institute’s Best-Performing Cities Index. The Kankakee MSA is also currently ranked in the nation’s top 10% for talent attraction and development, according to Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI)’s 2016 Talent Attraction Scorecard. EMSI’s scorecard is based on an index that equally weights 2013–2014 net migration, 2011–2015 skilled job growth, and three other data points — overall job growth, regional competitiveness for skilled jobs, and annual job openings per capita.

The Economic Alliance of Kankakee County is a public-private partnership that works to create jobs and expand the economic base by improving the local business climate. Working under Kankakee County’s 2014-19 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), the Alliance is challenged to help spur $500 million in new business investment and 500 new jobs, along with assisting 150 prospective new businesses. For more information, visit kankakeecountyed.org or phone 815.935.1177.

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