This DuPage Business is Making a More Sustainable World, One Drop at a Time

When we think of sustainability, we sometimes imagine a tug-of-war between economic and environmental interests—a zero-sum game, with profits and businesses on one side and ecosystems and communities on the other.

That’s just the way it is, right?

Fortunately, that’s not the case.

In fact, many businesses and communities across the globe—and right here in DuPage—are finding that the opposite is true.

As events like World Environment Day (June 5th, 2022) remind us, there are billions of planets in our galaxy, but only one Earth. Earth can’t be replaced, and it’s in all of our best interests to be good stewards of this one-of-a-kind planet. Rather than a competition, sustainability can and must be a collaborative effort that includes ecosystems, businesses and communities.

To celebrate World Environment Day and collaborative sustainability, let’s head to DuPage County and take a closer look at one business that’s using smart science and advanced technology to create a positive future—one drop at a time.

Welcome to Water University

Water University Nalco Water

The center of the water universe just might be a one-of-a-kind ‘school’ in Naperville, Illinois.

This is Water University. Created by Nalco Water, an Ecolab company, in 2017, and located on the campus of the company’s Ecolab Industrial headquarters, the facility is a high-tech learning environment where Nalco Water customers and associates educate themselves on state-of-the-art technologies.

At this university, you don’t get degrees. However, as a business owner, engineer, technician, or official, you can learn best practices that help you minimize water usage, maximize the potential of the water you do use, lower your costs, and make your operations more efficient. This is the place where environmental stewardship meets smart business practices.

The moment you step into Water University, your education begins. As a ‘student,’ one of the first places you encounter is the Customer Experience Center. A futuristic installation that would feel right at home in Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, the Customer Experience Center teaches users about the role of water in business, and outlines the company’s key technologies and water innovations.

But that’s only the beginning. As you head deeper into Water University, the real, hands-on learning begins.

First, there’s the Training Facility. Here, you can run simulations of real-life challenges using interactive software, then experiment with various programs and technologies in the wet lab.

Then there’s an area dedicated to the Ecolab Global Intelligence Center, which provides a live link to a remote customer service team. Here, you can engage with more than 130 service professionals working 24/7 to identify and resolve issues with your water technology.

Of course, no university would be complete without a lecture hall. At Water University’s brand-new auditorium, which seats more than 100 guests, associates and customers can attend presentations, panel discussions and collaborative training sessions on water technology.

Beneath the Surface

Underlying the sleek technology and immersive experiences of Water University is a message and a mission.

The message? Smart business practices and sustainability are not at odds; in fact, they’re in sync.

Water University helps customers envision the potential of responsible water usage. It helps them visualize how they can shift their water management from a wasteful linear model—in which operations intake water, use it, then discharge it—to a circular model, in which businesses reduce, reuse and recycle their water.

Using immersive experiences, the facility helps key decision-makers not only learn but see, feel and understand how the right technology can help them practice more sustainable water management—and how that can be good for both the environment and their bottom line.

The mission of Water University is deeply rooted in the company’s history. Nalco Water is owned by Ecolab, a global leader in water, hygiene and infection-prevention solutions. Founded nearly a century ago, Ecolab began as a one-product, one-employee business. In the 1970s, as the environmental movement took off, the company emerged as a leader in the sustainability space. Today, they provide technologies, services and solutions that help customers around the world achieve both their business and sustainability goals. Their most recent effort has been to champion 2030 goals related to water, climate, food and health (check out this video to learn more.)

At the center of Ecolab’s mission is water. This year alone, the company’s technologies have helped save more than 43 billion gallons of it, the equivalent of the annual drinking needs of 4.4 billion people.

And that’s a very, very good thing. Right now, our world needs sustainable water solutions more than ever.

Water World

Water shapes our lives in ways we see and ways we don’t.

Some are obvious. There is the water we drink and bathe in, the water that cleans our dishes, washes our clothes, and fills our pools, lakes and rivers.

But much of the water that flows through our lives is invisible to the average person.

Take this blog, for instance. Water is a key ingredient in nearly all manufacturing processes; countless gallons of it were used to build the device on which you’re reading this. Countless more were used when shipping it to you, and there’s a good chance that at least some of the electricity powering your device consumes additional water, directly or indirectly.

Even the data itself, the raw information that composes the words you’re reading and the images you’re seeing, consumes water. All this info—and so much more—is stored in data centers. Data centers, the foundation of our increasingly digitized world, use immense volumes of water to prevent their servers from overheating. They offer a glimpse at one of the many roles of water in our future.

Water is essential for growing our food, manufacturing our goods, and keeping our businesses and communities running. In the U.S., 45 percent of freshwater withdrawals are used for thermoelectric power, 32 percent for irrigation (mostly agriculture), 12 percent for public supply, and five percent for self-supplied industrial operations.

But don’t be fooled: Just because water is everywhere doesn’t mean it is unlimited or even abundant.

In fact, less than one percent of the Earth’s water is available for human use. The rest consists of saltwater in oceans, freshwater frozen in polar ice caps, and water that is otherwise inaccessible to humans.

Despite how essential our water supply is to every aspect of our lives—and despite how limited we know this natural resource is—humans, historically, haven’t been good stewards of it.  

In addition to pollution, which has damaged ecosystems within and beyond our natural waterways, our insatiable thirst for water has brought us to an impasse; by 2030, demand for freshwater is expected to exceed supply by 56 percent. (Until recently, that number was 40 percent. However, in 2020, the World Resources Institute announced that the water crisis had been exacerbated from 40 to 56 percent.)

Meanwhile, less than 10 percent of freshwater in the U.S. is reused, and only three percent of wastewater across the globe is recycled. Our current approach is simply unsustainable. Populations are rising and demand for water is increasing; at the same time, the supply of water is the same as ever. We’re in a rocket ship, and we’re flying towards a ceiling.

What happens when we hit the ceiling? Already, we can see the consequences of our strain on the water supply. For most people, that means higher water prices and seasonal watering restrictions. For businesses, that means goods are more expensive to produce, leading to higher prices for consumers and stagnation across the economy.

For the environment, that means disruptions to numerous ecosystems. As water tables dip, concentrations of pollutants rise, disrupting food chains and sending shockwaves through animal populations and onto human communities. 

Ripple Effects

sustainability dupage

There’s a growing trend among environmental activists, businesses and communities to think differently about sustainability. And when you look at the urgency of the crisis and the success of Ecolab and Nalco Water’s business model, it’s easy to see why.

This trend hinges on an updated definition of sustainability, one that focuses on three pillars.

#1: Environmental Sustainability: This is all about good environmental stewardship—responsibly managing natural resources, respecting the natural world, and protecting ecosystems. When most people think of sustainability, they think only of this pillar. But this definition includes two more.

#2: Economic Sustainability: This refers to practices that support long-term economic health and enable businesses to succeed while doing good for people and the planet.

#3: Social Sustainability: This final pillar refers to practices that protect people and preserve our society. That includes ensuring that everyone has access to the basics: clean water, adequate food, quality education, healthcare and shelter, as well as human rights. It extends to the workforce, a community that practices social sustainability protects their workers from exploitation and discrimination.

As a society, we debate these three pillars all the time, often separating them, pitting them against one another, and arguing over which pillars are more important. However, by grouping them under one banner, the banner of sustainability, we can see that they are inseparable.

Not only do efforts to sustain the environment contribute to economic and social sustainability, and vice versa—you really can’t have one without the other. If we let the environment waste away, our quality of life will suffer, as will our businesses and our social fabric. If we ignore social justice, our workforce and consumers will be unhealthy, our economy will stagnate, and we will lack the social cohesion to mobilize for sustainability. Finally, if we ignore economic sustainability, we won’t have the resources to pursue our other goals. Each pillar is essential to the others.

Ecolab demonstrates how businesses and communities can pursue all three goals at once.

By improving their customers’ water management practices, they help these businesses reduce costs, protect the environment and improve their business’ public image. Meanwhile, as Ecolab has made the first two pillars core to their business model, the third is just as important to their business and culture. Recently, they have enriched their company’s diversity and inclusion practices, focusing on gender, racial and ethnic equity among their employees and serving as a role model for other businesses.

Ecolab inspires us. They show us how, rather than conflicting with one another, the three pillars of sustainability can together be the bedrock of successful businesses and strong communities.

We all share one Earth. We all share one future. And while each of us has our own perspectives, goals and abilities, creating a more sustainable world is one thing that can—and must—bring us all together.

Thank you for reading! For incentives, information and other resources for DuPage businesses practicing sustainability, start here.

 

Incentives & Resources for Sustainable Development

On April 28, 2022, Choose DuPage and the DuPage County Environmental Division hosted a Zoom & Learn as part of an ongoing, Sustainable DuPage program series. In the webinar, we learned about the incentives and resources available for energy efficiency, HVAC improvements, renewable energy, and other sustainable development projects. 

GUEST SPEAKERS

AnnaMaria Kowalik, Senior Vice President, Director of Business Development
The Illinois Energy Conservation Authority NFP

Lynette Ng, Outreach Manager, C&I Programs
Resource Innovations, ComEd

Dave Surina, Community Affairs Manager
Nicor Gas

Mike King, Director Energy Efficiency Program Operations
Nicor Gas

View Speaker Bios

View Webinar

Sustainable DuPage Program Series

In honor of Earth Month 2022 (April), Choose DuPage and the DuPage County Environmental Division have partnered to host a series of sustainability-focused events. Featuring fresh topics and guest speakers every Thursday in April, this series covers topics at the intersection of business, economic development, life, and sustainability, while focusing on the DuPage region. By bringing together local thought-leaders and influential members of the community, we hope to spark new connections and fresh thinking as we all work toward a brighter future—for our planet and for DuPage.

Sustainable DuPage

DuPage Community Arts Festival

DuPage County to Host Inaugural Community Arts Festival

DuPage County will host its inaugural DuPage Community Arts Festival to highlight the importance of arts in our community.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on May 28 at the north grounds of DuPage County Fairgrounds, 2015 Manchester Road, Wheaton. There will be three stages providing musical acts, along with food trucks and a beer tent providing refreshments. Local community artists will be showcasing and selling their work throughout the festival.

Groups scheduled to perform during the DuPage Community Arts Festival include the headline act, Ides of March, and others including the Orbert Davis Quintet, Muriel Anderson, Ralph Covert and Ralph’s World, Son Monarcas, the DuPage Symphony Ensembles, the Chicago Jazz Academy, Vital Signs, the Road Show Inc. Show Choir, Elmhurst Symphony Chamber groups, and many more, including a visual performance by artist Lewis Achenbach.

DuPage County formed an Ad Hoc Fine Arts Committee to develop the festival as an opportunity to support local artists, many of whom have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This event will highlight the importance of the arts and the pivotal role they play in driving economic development. A thriving arts community means a thriving DuPage County,” said Lynn LaPlante, Chairwoman of the Ad Hoc Fine Arts Committee. “This brand-new initiative gives these talented artists a platform to promote the amazing work they’re doing. It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to come together and celebrate as a community after a very difficult two years.”

Presale tickets for the DuPage Community Arts Festival are currently available and cost $20 for adults, $10 for children ages 3 to 12, and free for children under the age of 3. A family pass will be available for $50. Tickets bought at the gate will cost $25 for adults, $12 for children ages 3 to 12, and free for children under the age of 3. A family pass bought at the gate will cost $60.

Funds raised through the festival will be used to support future arts-related efforts. To purchase tickets, or for more information, please visit the DuPage County Fair Association website at https://dupagecountyfair.org.

 

Recognition in Sustainability

On April 21, 2022, Choose DuPage and the DuPage County Environmental Division hosted a Zoom & Learn as part of an ongoing, Sustainable DuPage program series. In the webinar, we learned how businesses can achieve recognition and accolades for sustainable practices. We also discussed the opportunities that exist and the impact it can have on your business. 

GUEST SPEAKERS

Audrie Hicks Washington, Environmental Protection Specialist,
Energy Star Program Lead
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Region 5

Paul Feith, President
Paul Gregory Media, a Certified B Corporation

Ben Mjolsness, Sustainability Coordinator
City of Naperville

View Speaker Bios

View Webinar

Sustainable DuPage Program Series

In honor of Earth Month 2022 (April), Choose DuPage and the DuPage County Environmental Division have partnered to host a series of sustainability-focused events. Featuring fresh topics and guest speakers every Thursday in April, this series covers topics at the intersection of business, economic development, life, and sustainability, while focusing on the DuPage region. By bringing together local thought-leaders and influential members of the community, we hope to spark new connections and fresh thinking as we all work toward a brighter future—for our planet and for DuPage.

Sustainable DuPage

Sustainability in Commercial Construction

On April 14, 2022, Choose DuPage and the DuPage County Environmental Division hosted a Zoom & Learn as part of an ongoing, Sustainable DuPage program series. In the webinar, we learned best practices for reducing your environmental footprint in commercial construction and renovation projects.

GUEST SPEAKERS

John Mlade, LFA, WELL Faculty, LEED Fellow,
Director, Sustainable & Healthy Environments
Wight & Company

John Sliwicki, Senior Vice President, Materials Recovery Facilities
LRS

Katie Kaluzny, Associate Director
Illinois Green Alliance

View Speaker Bios

View the Webinar

Sustainable DuPage Program Series

In honor of Earth Month 2022 (April), Choose DuPage and the DuPage County Environmental Division have partnered to host a series of sustainability-focused events. Featuring fresh topics and guest speakers every Thursday in April, this series covers topics at the intersection of business, economic development, life, and sustainability, while focusing on the DuPage region. By bringing together local thought-leaders and influential members of the community, we hope to spark new connections and fresh thinking as we all work toward a brighter future—for our planet and for DuPage.

Sustainable DuPage

Giving DuPage Days

Giving DuPage Days is a virtual community fundraiser hosted by Giving DuPage. For 5 days in May, an entire county will come together to send a resounding message of HOPE to our local nonprofit community. Community organizations continue to serve our residents during the many challenges we face today. This is our opportunity to honor and support their work!

We’re inviting everyone to join us for Giving DuPage Days, an online fundraiser, with a goal to raise over $550,000 for over 95 local nonprofit organizations serving DuPage County.

From May 2-6, we will connect individuals, families, businesses, schools, community & faith groups to celebrate and create awareness for participating charities. Everyone is welcome and donors of all ages can participate! In the past 2 years, over 4,600 amazing donors have helped to raise $622,072 for so many worthy nonprofit causes!

Join us this year to show how GENEROSITY CHANGES EVERYTHING and help local charities raise unrestricted funds in support of their mission and critical programs!

Click here to learn more

business expansion

Planning a Business Expansion? We can help.

Planning a new business expansion in Chicago or the greater Chicago region? Looking to relocate to the DuPage County area? Choose DuPage can provide expert guidance, key resources and valuable business connections to help you navigate the challenges of business development.

Located just west of Chicago, DuPage County is a global hub for a diverse range of industries and sub-sectors, from data centers and logistics to advanced manufacturing, healthcare, food processing and more.

Now, small businesses, start-ups and large corporations alike are choosing DuPage to relocate or expand their business, and Choose DuPage is helping them make it happen

Why DuPage?

DuPage offers businesses a variety of benefits, from a strong talent pipeline to a collaborative business climate, a strategic location, and more.

At a time when businesses around the world are struggling to navigate their supply chain and get ahold of the materials they need, DuPage is strategically located at the center of a global cargo gateway.

Here, millions of tons of cargo move through three nearby international airports (O’Hare, Midway, and the DuPage Airport). DuPage is also located near the nation’s largest inland port, the busiest railroad hub in the U.S., and a highway system that connects businesses in Chicagoland with cities across the Midwest market and beyond. DuPage’s location makes it easier for businesses to access goods, customers, and vendors along the supply chain.

Meanwhile, as businesses compete for talent, DuPage offers one of the nation’s leading talent markets. Our strong workforce ecosystem and seamless talent pipeline are built on national-caliber educational institutions and a diverse economy, as well as organizations and programs that help connect employers to workers.

With more than 640,000 workers in DuPage with a diverse range of skills and educational attainment levels – plus the nearby Chicago talent pool – businesses in the region have access to the workforce they need.

In addition to a strategic location and a strong workforce ecosystem, DuPage offers tax incentives for expansion, as well as low commercial property taxes, close proximity to millions of consumers across Chicagoland, and opportunities to connect with other businesses in a collaborative environment.

The challenge of expansion and relocation

Although it’s often the result of a business’ growth, the process of expanding or relocating to a new area is often one of a business’ greatest challenges.

Whether it’s a start-up that’s expanding its customer base or a well-known corporation opening a new customer service center, most businesses must eventually expand or relocate.

To do so, they may have to purchase new assets, open new units, hire and train additional staff, develop new marketing strategies, move their business to a new location, or add additional square footage to a current location. Expansion or relocation requires a major material investment and a number of difficult decisions, and success ultimately comes down to good planning, solid data and insights, and some help from those who know the market best.

Many businesses struggle to expand or relocate not because they lack the will to do so, but because they don’t have the right knowledge, resources and local connections. Expansion often requires training new employees, finding a location to expand their operations, and connecting with vendors and other businesses in the area along the supply chain—and that requires deep knowledge of the local market.

Before a business expands or relocates, they should strive to understand the market in which they are doing business. They should research local market conditions to understand where their sector is heading, whether the area has the workforce to support their business, and how the regional economy is expected to perform in the future.

Unfortunately, most start-ups and small businesses don’t have the time or resources to thoroughly research the area in which they are expanding. Even for larger businesses, finding reliable, relevant data and building connections within the local supply chain is often difficult.

How Choose DuPage can help

Choose DuPage is an alliance of DuPage County’s public and private sector leaders, representing a wide range of industries and interests within DuPage. Together, we are committed to helping our region and our business community thrive.

As local insiders and experts in the DuPage and greater Chicagoland region, we have the resources, connections and expertise to connect you with incentive programs, help you find the right location for your business, and use reliable, relevant data to understand the region’s economy and business climate.

Industry-Sector Reports: Plan smarter with valuable insights and key data points on your market.

Understanding the present and projected future conditions of a local market is critical to successfully expanding within or relocating to a region.

How is the market expected to perform over the coming years? What is the current state of the workforce for your subsector? How can you connect with vendors, suppliers and other businesses along your supply chain?

Choose DuPage can provide a detailed industry-sector report with critical information about factors like workforce, supply chain, and the overall business climate in DuPage for your industry.

Site Selection Assistance: Work with a local expert to find the right space for your business.

When relocating to a new area, selecting the right location can ultimately determine a business’ success or failure. However, if you are unfamiliar with the area, choosing the right site can be difficult.

It helps to have an expert with a local perspective. At Choose DuPage, we have a deep understanding of the area’s commercial real estate market, and we can help you find a space that suits your needs.

Commercial Collaboration: Learn from peers and connect with businesses along the supply chain.

We offer a variety of opportunities for commercial collaboration, including classes, seminars and networking events. These meetings and events help connect you with other businesses in your industry and along the supply chain, as well as organizations along the talent pipeline that can help you recruit and develop your workforce.

Specialized Resources and Incentives: Access programs designed to help you achieve your goals.

From not-for-profit organizations providing training and consulting services to angel investment programs for start-up business expansion in Chicago and the Chicago area, DuPage businesses can access a wide range of resources and incentives to help achieve their goals. Learn more about these programs on Choose DuPage’s resources page.

Get in touch with Choose DuPage.

For more information on expanding or relocating your business in DuPage County, contact us at info@ChooseDuPage.com.

Illinois Ranks Third in Nation for Corporate Investment

480 projects accounted for 21,000 jobs and $3.5B in investment in 2021

Illinois ranks third in the nation for number of corporate expansion and relocation projects in 2021 in Site Selection’s annual Governor’s Cup report on economic development efforts across the country. The publication noted 480 Illinois projects in 2021 accounting for 21,000 jobs and $3.5B in investment, moving the state up from the number four spot in the previous year’s rankings.

“Companies want to be in Illinois to take advantage of our central location and productive workforce,” said Intersect Illinois CEO Dan Seals. “These rankings also reflect our focus on key industries like electric vehicles and healthcare, where Illinois has particular strengths.”

The issue also named the Chicago metropolitan area as the Top Metro for corporate investment for areas with populations over 1 million for the 9th straight year. The magazine sites food, e-commerce, manufacturing, life sciences and tech as being drivers for nationwide growth and notes that the Chicago region’s diverse economy makes it well-positioned to accommodate projects in these sectors.

“Illinois is the best place to live, work and do business and our state continues to be a national leader when it comes to having the ingredients businesses need to succeed,” said Sylvia I. Garcia, Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. “Under Governor Pritzker’s leadership, Illinois continues to be a leader in world class talent, strong infrastructure and high quality of life.”

“The Governor’s Cups recognize not only the winning governors, but their entire economic development teams, and by extension, the many professionals throughout their states who work every day to attract new investment and retain and grow existing businesses,” says Mark Arend, editor in chief of Site Selection.

Site Selection’s yearly analyses are regarded by corporate real estate analysts as “the industry scoreboard.” To qualify, projects must meet one or more of these criteria: investment of $1M or more, creation of 20 or more new jobs or 20,000 sq. ft. or more of new space.


INTERSECT ILLINOIS is the statewide economic development organization focused on bringing new jobs and investment to the state. Intersect collaborates with industry, academic and government partners throughout the state. To date, Intersect Illinois has helped bring over 15,800 jobs and $4.7 billion in investment to Illinois.

diversity in business

How Diversity Creates Business Opportunities in DuPage

What makes a city, county or region a good place for a business expansion or business relocation?

Or how about a more basic question: What makes an economy strong?

While you may think that the answer to that second question is obvious, the world in which economies operate has changed drastically, as has our definition of economic strength.

Understanding how that definition has changed—and what makes for a strong economy in the 2020’s—is critical to finding the right place to grow your business.

Why Top Economies Have Shifted from Specialization to Diversity

Let’s start with the definition: What is a strong economy?

If you asked someone a century ago, they would probably point you to a place like Detroit, where the city’s economy was almost entirely driven by the automotive industry.

At the time, they were correct: Globalization wasn’t nearly as sophisticated as it is now, supply chains were simpler, and, in general, markets changed at a slower rate. By specializing in a single industry—or, in the case of many “factory towns” across America, a single business—a region could focus its workforce, recruiting efforts, education and resources on that industry. By doing so, they could outcompete other regions in that space.

Clearly, this is no longer the case. The collapse of Detroit’s automotive industry was shocking. However, after seeing much the same occur in factory town after factory town across America, it isn’t altogether surprising that a region couldn’t afford to be so specialized.

The Detroit automotive industry was robust and, in its heyday, untouchable. But its greatest strength in the 20th century—an acute focus on a single sector—proved to be a fatal flaw in the 21st.

Why is this? Why is extreme specialization no longer the hallmark of a strong economy? And what economic models have arisen to dethrone it?

The short answer is that everything is more connected than it has ever been. Our world economy is no longer divided into distinct regions; it’s globalized. The economy is like a three-dimensional spider web, where every point is connected to every other through complex and layered networks—AKA supply chains—that are often hard to see and harder to unravel. When a disruption occurs along one strand, it’s felt across all the others.

This is why it feels like change is occurring at such a rapid pace. It’s not necessarily that more change is occurring—though it may be—but that we feel every vibration.

The End of the Factory Town

Not surprisingly, the economies that flourish in today’s intricately connected markets are often the opposite of those that dominated yesterday’s siloed economies. While the image of a robust economy in America was once the “factory town”—a place where a single business or small group of businesses dominated the local economy—today’s most successful economies are characterized by their diversity.

What makes these diverse economies so powerful is that they have the flexibility to withstand fluctuations in today’s global economy, where markets experience disruptions at a greater frequency.

When a disruption occurs, more rigid economies tend to succeed or snap, either experiencing a boom period or giving way beneath the pressure. Diverse economies react differently. When a disruption occurs, certain sub-sectors may be negatively impacted; however, others may flourish within the new conditions, and their success will uphold the economy at large.

Rather than watching the market fearfully, hoping it will turn in their favor, diverse economies focus on succeeding within whatever conditions they are given, knowing their flexibility will keep them resilient through whatever change comes their way.

DuPage County: Diverse, Resilient and Ready

One example of an area with the economic diversity and resiliency to succeed in today’s market is DuPage County, Illinois.

Located just west of Chicago, DuPage is home to thousands of businesses from a wide range of industries. And while certain sectors—like healthcare, manufacturing and data centers—play a leading role in the region’s economy, no single industry represents more than 10% of the area’s GDP. No single sector dominates DuPage.

Instead, it’s the diversity of industries—as well as the conditions that help attract, retain and grow businesses—that make DuPage County a resilient economy today with a promising outlook for tomorrow.

There are numerous factors driving the success of DuPage’s diverse economy. There’s the strategic location; DuPage is located at the heart of a global freight gateway, a hub where numerous supply chains intersect at three international airports, the nation’s busiest rail gateway, the largest inland port in North America, and several major interstates.

There’s the high quality of life, with beautiful neighbors alongside culturally rich downtowns and some of the best school systems in the nation.

And there’s the commercial collaboration. DuPage businesses have a proud history of working together to solve shared problems and help one another reach their goals. Since the pandemic, those bonds have only strengthened, as businesses across the region work together, alongside community organizations like Choose DuPage, to solve supply chain challenges.

However, the factor that has most influenced—and has been influenced by—DuPage’s diverse economy is its workforce ecosystem.

Workforce Opportunities in DuPage

DuPage is home to more than 640,000 workers representing a wide range of education levels, skillsets, and industry specialties. There is also a massive talent pool accessible in nearby Chicago and other surrounding areas.

But it’s not only the size or even the diversity of the DuPage workforce that makes it so well-suited for the DuPage economy. It’s the entire ecosystem of talented individuals, national-caliber educational institutions, businesses, and organizations—like Innovation DuPage—that help bridge the gap between talent and employers.

The synergy between the businesses, talent and institutions forms the foundation of DuPage’s resilient, sustainable economy. Its impact can be seen across DuPage’s leading sectors, including:

  • Healthcare and Social Assistance (employing 74,000+ workers)
  • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (employing 60,000+)
  • Retail Trade (employing 55,000+)
  • Food Processing & Distribution (employing 11,700+)
  • Administrative and Support, and Waste Management and Remediation Services (employing 54,000+)
  • Manufacturing (employing 54,000+)
  • Data Centers (with a 3.4% annual growth rate, the Chicagoland Region is ranked the #2 metro in the United States for this market)

How to find new business sites in DuPage

Looking for new business sites or business expansion sites in DuPage County, Illinois?

Choose DuPage has a number of resources to help:

View and learn more about some of the top sites in DuPage County on our featured properties page.

Explore an 800-acre West Chicago campus designed for a variety of sectors—including manufacturing, office, data centers and more—on our DuPage Business Center page.

Or, for assistance with site selection, business plans and expansion strategies, submit a Request Information form here.

1211 W 22nd Street Oak Brook

Nexdigm Expands its Global Presence with New Office in DuPage County

The Consul General of India, State of Illinois, and Choose DuPage joined Nexdigm to announce the company’s first North American office in Oak Brook, Illinois. Nexdigm is an employee-owned, privately held, independent global organization that helps companies across geographies meet the needs of a dynamic business environment in professional and business services. Nexdigm currently serves hundreds of US business clients.  

Speaking on the occasion from his Oak Brook office, Guljit Singh, Group Executive Chairman, said, “Our expansion is not limited. With this office and our new offices in Poland and UAE, we hope to increase collaboration on a global scale. It will help our customers choose between onsite and offsite services per their requirements. Additionally, we can now service our clients round the clock.”

For Nexdigm, this is a multimillion-dollar investment in the region and will create several high-paying jobs. This location will initially support several key senior advisers situated in North America who play a significant role in the management and functioning of the company. In addition, 12 new executives and their teams will serve a wide range of industries, with a specific focus in healthcare, food processing, banking and financial sectors. Over the last decade, the company has grown on many continents, employing over 1,300 people in the US, India, UAE, Poland, and Japan, providing transnational support to numerous clients through their 12 offices worldwide.

The Oak Brook office grand opening was attended by several government dignitaries along with senior leaders of prominent multinationals and industry associations.

Nexidigm

“Over the past 18 months, I’ve gotten to know Nexdigm, and we have organized several activities with them focusing on specific sectors and areas where we can collaborate. They have, of course, a great understanding of India and the US markets, and I’m really excited that they now have a physical presence in the US, and that too in the Chicago area, the heart of the US mid-west, an area that is under my jurisdiction,” said Amit Kumar, Consul General of India in Chicago.

“We congratulate Nexdigm on choosing Illinois for their first U.S. location,” said Margo Markopoulos, Director of Office of Trade at the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. “Illinois continues to welcome new companies to our state, thanks to our location, diverse industries, and skilled workforce. Nexdigm joins over 2,000 foreign-based companies that have located in Illinois, and who employ over 300,000 Illinoisans. The Illinois Department of Commerce is excited to work with Nexdigm as they continue to grow their footprint, right here in Illinois.”

“DuPage County and Choose DuPage is thrilled to welcome Nexdigm to Oak Brook, Illinois,” said Greg Bedalov, President and CEO of Choose DuPage. “Nexdigm’s choice of DuPage County and Oak Brook for its first North American offices signifies a tremendous commitment to our region. We are dedicated to working with Nexdigm to assure its long-term success and extremely grateful for Nexdigm’s investment in DuPage County. The new office marks a significant milestone in Nexdigm’s journey.”

For current and future opportunities, and more information, visit www.nexdigm.com

About Nexdigm

Nexdigm is an employee-owned, independent, global organization serving clients from more than 50 countries. Harnessing our multifunctional and digital capabilities across Business Services and Professional Services, we provide our customers, both listed and privately held firms, with integrated solutions navigating complex challenges. Nexdigm resonates with our plunge into a new paradigm of business; it is our commitment to Think Next.