• Posted: December 11, 2017

    Portuguese Company Relocating U.S. Headquarters to DuPage County

    Last month, executives from Portuguese mobility services company A-to-Be met with leaders from the County and toured Elite Manufacturing in Bloomingdale. The company is preparing for the relocation of its U.S. operations from Colorado to DuPage County following its recent award to supply the Illinois Tollway with 270 Automatic Toll Payment Machines (ATPMs).




    A-to-Be was recently selected to supply the Illinois Tollway with the ATPM machines which will improve service to tollway users, including the underbanked, while saving the Illinois Tollway significant operational costs. The ATPM machines will be built through a partnership with Elite Manufacturing, an advanced machine design and fabrication company in Bloomingdale.


    A-to-Be has been active in Portugal for 30 years and operating in the U.S. for the last three years from its U.S. headquarters in Colorado. Its U.S. headquarters relocated to Downers Grove, a short distance from the Tollway on November 1, 2017.

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  • Posted: December 4, 2017

    Real Estate Firm New Home Star Takes No. 2 Spot on Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work in 2018 List


    No. 2 ranking highest for a real estate firm in Glassdoor history


    Chicago-based New Home Star, which also has an office in Elmhurst is the largest private seller of new homes in America. Recently, they were honored with a Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award, recognizing the Best Places to Work in 2018. The Employees’ Choice Awards program, now in its 10th year, relies solely on the feedback of employees via Glassdoor, one of the fastest growing jobs and recruiting sites. New Home Star’s No. 2 ranking in the top 50 companies with less than 1,000 employees makes it the highest ranked real estate company since the inception of the list.


    “We are continuously inspired and encouraged by the positive feedback we receive from our employees through Glassdoor,” said David Rice, founder and CEO of New Home Star. “We celebrate our top two position on this list, but our vision is to build the best sales team in the world and we still have work to do.” 


    Rice noted that annually, the Glassdoor list of best places to work is dominated by tech companies, so it’s quite the exception for a service company to be ranked so high. “We’re a traditional service company that has the privilege of selling the American Dream of new-home ownership, while using exciting and progressive technology to engage our people and drive a world-class culture that rivals some of the most innovative tech brands in the nation,” said Rice. 


    Ten years ago, the housing crash changed the trajectory of the real estate industry and drove many potential job applicants away, but things have changed for this Chicago-based firm. “We see upwards of 2,500 applicants a month interested in a career with us, and most of our millennial candidates research our culture and workplace extensively before ever making contact,” explained Rice.


    On Glassdoor, current and former employees of companies worldwide can share insights and opinions about their work environments by sharing a company review, designed to capture a genuine and authentic inside look at what it’s like to work at particular jobs and companies. When sharing a company review on Glassdoor, employees are asked to rate their satisfaction with the company overall, and key workplace factors like career opportunities, compensation, benefits, work/life balance, senior management, as well as culture and values. In addition, employees are asked to describe the best reasons to work at their companies as well as any downsides.


    “We know today’s job seekers are more informed than ever about where they go to work, researching everything from company culture to career opportunities to pay philosophy and more. To help people find companies that stand out from the pack, the Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards recognizes employers that are truly Best Places to Work because they’re determined by those who really know best - the employees,” said Robert Hohman, Glassdoor CEO and co-founder. “Employers where employees love to work continue to prove that they have a recruiting and business performance advantage. We’re proud to celebrate the 2018 winners as we mark our 10th anniversary of the Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards.”


    The Best Places to Work are determined using company reviews shared by U.S.-based employees between Nov. 1, 2016 and Oct. 22, 2017. To be considered for the small and medium category, a company must have less than 1,000 employees and have received at least 25 ratings across eight workplace attributes from U.S.-based employees during the period of eligibility. The final list is compiled based on Glassdoor’s proprietary algorithm, and takes into account quantity, quality and consistency of reviews.



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  • Posted: November 26, 2017

    ComEd Expands, Digitizes Itasca Substation to Meet Anticipated Regional Growth

    Increased energy capacity to help power development of new data centers and western O'Hare construction


    ComEd has broken ground on an expansion project at its Itasca Substation as part of a long-range plan to meet an anticipated need for more power in the region, in part due to expected growth in the construction and operation of data centers in the Elk Grove area as well as business in the western O'Hare market.


    Features of ComEd's newly expanded facility also will increase energy capacity within an approximate five-mile area—enough new capcity to ultimately serve the power equivalant of 80,000 residential homes. The new substation is designed with an "Intellegent Substation Dashboard," which offers digital technology that makes it easier for ComEd to identify potential issues and respond quicker.


    "ComEd actively supports economic development throughout northern Illinois, and substation projects, like the Itasca expansion, will help ensure the electrical infrastructure is in place to meet the region's growth and future energy demand," said Fidel Marquez, senior vice president of Governmental and External Affairs. "We look forward to working with prospective businesses like data centers and other operations who are interested in moving their companies into the area."


    "Elk Grove is one of the most desirable data center locations in the Chicagoland market and the new Elk Grove Technology Park provides additional sites for growth," said Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson. "With ComEd's electricity capacity expansion projects underway, existing and future businesses will have the confidence that power requirements can be met now and well into the future."


    "The western O'Hare market and projected growth of 65,000 new jobs by 2040 in the new Illinois tollway corridor is an important initiative for Choose DuPage," said John Carpenter, Choose DuPage President & CEO. "We can now add ComEd's substation expansion as one of the many reasons for businesses to grow in or move to DuPage County."


    ComEd has multiple existing substations serving customers in the area and goes through an annual short- (5-year) and long-range (10-year) planning process to assess expected load growth based on economic forecast modeling and actual customer usage.


    Additional long-range capacity plans for the area call for construction of another new ComEd substation in north Elk Grove Village in the future.


    ComEd's grid modernization program, called Smart Grid, is almost complete and has contributed to record reliability for its customers over the last four years. Now the company is focused on implementation of the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), ground-breaking legislation which will build off the Smart Grid foundation to help move Illinois to a clean energy future and provide greater access to renewables, energy efficiency and valuable job training within Illinois communities.

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  • Posted: October 14, 2017

    Choose DuPage Third Quarter Economic Indicators Report Shows Strong Climate to Help Regional Bid for Amazon’s Second Headquarters

    DuPage County continues to boast low unemployment; lowest industrial vacancy rates in the region


    Choose DuPage has released its 2017 Third Quarter Economic Indicators Report showing continued growth in DuPage County’s industrial market.  Job creators and entrepreneurs are choosing DuPage County to build and expand their operations, while unemployment rates consistently remain lower than both state and federal levels. Data suggests DuPage County offers a business-friendly environment for a variety of industry sectors.


    2017 Third Quarter Economic Indicator Report Highlights:


    • DuPage County has sustained one of the lowest unemployment rates in the Chicagoland six-county region at 4.4 percent, lower than both Illinois (5.2 percent) and United States (4.5 percent).
    • Industrial vacancy rates dropped another .2 percent from last quarter to 5.2 percent; DuPage County continues to have the lowest industrial vacancy rate in the region.
    • DuPage County‘s current top job opportunities include positions in computers and mathematics, management, office and administrative support, sales, healthcare practitioners, business and finance, and transportation.


    In addition to continued industry growth and steady absorption of both office and industrial vacancies, DuPage County is poised for the opportunity to welcome Amazon’s HQ2 to the region. Choose DuPage is working closely with the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and Intersect Illinois as part of the regional effort to bring Amazon’s second headquarters to Illinois.


    “The potential West Chicago site includes the DuPage Business Center near DuPage Airport, which would offer a unique opportunity for a variety of reasons – as well as the McDonald's campus in Oak Brook, which encompasses 100 acres, provides tollway access, and meets many of the other requirements outlined by Amazon,” said John Carpenter, president and CEO of the Choose DuPage Economic Development Alliance.  “As I’ve said before, our low industrial vacancy rate has created an incredible opportunity for developers in the region – this is a prime opportunity, no pun intended, for DuPage County.”


    Low taxes and operating costs, strong labor demographics, an educated and skilled workforce, proximity to hotels and dining, as well as shopping, golf and recreational activities are just a few of the benefits DuPage County hopes will attract continued business development for the region. 


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