Mayor Rahm Emanuel today joined The Will Group to break ground on the company’s new $5.4 million electrical equipment production facility on the West Side. The new facility will create and retain 48 permanent jobs in addition to 60 construction jobs.
“Chicago believes in its local businesses and this ground breaking represents our commitment to fostering the success of companies like the Will Group while working to revitalize our neighborhoods,” Mayor Emanuel said. “Neighborhood investments don’t just create jobs; they create stronger communities, and I look forward to seeing what great things are in store for this company and its surrounding residents.”
The Will Group, which manufactures electrical equipment for utility companies, municipalities and private clients, will relocate from two smaller facilities and construct the 60,000 square-foot complex with 32-foot ceilings, six loading docks, office space, parking and landscaping. The Will Group is purchasing vacant City-owned land at 825 S. Kilpatrick Avenue for the development that is expected to be completed within 18 months of the land sale.
“I am incredibly grateful for the support of Alderman Michael Scott, Jr. and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, to transform this community with the acquisition of this property. K-Town Business Centre is not just transactional, but also transformative,” The Will Group Chairman, Stephen L. Davis said. We are committed to creating jobs in the communities in which we operate. The Will Group thanks its partners like ComEd, Exelon, Ameresco, the Chicago Infrastructure Trust, the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, Mayor Emanuel, and Alderman Scott. Without your support, the exponential growth and the transformation of this community could not have been possible.”
“We are no longer the ward of vacant lots and abandoned buildings,” Alderman Scott said. “Working together with the City, our community leaders and strong business partners like The Will Group, we are transforming the west side and bringing more jobs to this community.”
The Will Group- through its subsidiary Lyons View Manufacturing- has been manufacturing products for the City of Chicago, utility companies and other municipalities throughout the Midwest for over 10 years. Previous and ongoing company projects include the Chicago Smart Lighting Program, which was procured by the Chicago Infrastructure Trust; O’Hare International Airport LED streetlight upgrade; City of Chicago Residential Blocks Program; ComEd’s Smart Streetlight Program; and Exelon’s Distribution Capacitor Bank Project. The company manufactured over 150,000 light fixtures with the City and contracted with Com Ed for an additional 150,000.
This new facility is part of Mayor Emanuel’s efforts to use Chicago’s procurement policies to bring thousands of good-paying jobs to Chicago and strengthen Chicago’s manufacturing industry. In 2012, the City passed a bid incentive ordinance to give companies that manufacture in Chicago extra points in the procurement process, a policy change that helped create more than 3,000 new manufacturing jobs in Chicago.