Durbin Meets With Will County Officials To Discuss Local Priorities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with members of the Will County Board who were in Washington, D.C. for their annual fly-in. Durbin and the group discussed local economic development issues, local transportation priorities, and manufacturing partnerships. A photo of today’s meeting will be available shortly here.

“The Will County Board serves as an important local voice for the business and community interests of the entire region,” Durbin said. “This year, as Congress faces a deadline on the future of our national transportation and infrastructure network, I look forward to working with the Will County Board and other local stakeholders to produce a transportation bill that provides the necessary resources to upgrade our aging infrastructure and puts America back to work.”

Attendees at today’s meeting included: James Moustis, Will County Board Speaker; Will County Board Members Bob Howard, Suzanne Hart, Don Moran, Herb Brooks, Chuck Maher, and Mike Fricilone; Nick Palmer, Chief of Staff for President Larry Walsh’s Office; Bruce Friefeld, Chief of Staff for the Will County Board; and Marcy DeMauro, Executive Director of the Will County Forest Preserve District.

With an extension of funding federal surface transportation programs set to expire, Congress is expected to take up legislation reauthorizing highway and transit programs later this year. This bill will have a significant impact on Illinois, which is home to one of the nation’s largest multimodal transportation networks.

During today’s meeting, Durbin also discussed the region’s ongoing efforts to attract and expand investment in the manufacturing sector. Last year, Durbin announced that the Chicago Metro Region was named one of the first twelve locations to be designated a “Manufacturing Community” through the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership initiative. As a designated Manufacturing Community, the Chicago Metro Region is eligible for $1.3 billion in future federal funding in workforce development; supplier network; research and innovation; infrastructure and site development; trade and international investment; and operational improvement and capital access.

In 2013, Durbin help secure $2 million in federal funding for Will County, in partnership with DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake and McHenry, through the Accelerated Training for Illinois Manufacturing program to train 177 people at 11 educational institutions in the region. Those in the program will learn the skills to be Computer Numeric Control operators, welders, industrial machinery mechanics and robotics technicians.