2023 Was A Standout Year for Business


Lake County’s talent and strong mix of industries fueled record growth in 2023, with the year marking one of the best runs of economic development in the county’s history. Lake County Partners celebrated its 25th anniversary with major investments, new partnerships, and the continued implementation of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy to support businesses, advance economic mobility and enhance quality of life.



The organization also celebrated president & CEO Kevin Considine’s recognition as a Titan 100, marking him as one of Chicagoland’s top 100 CEOs, for his leadership and dedication to economic development. This year, Kevin was also appointed Vice Chair of the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership (GCEP).

Lake County Partners is Driving Investment & Growth



Over the last 5 years alone, LCP has fueled $1.2 billion in direct capital investment, driven the creation of 4,445 new jobs and kept 4,739 existing jobs in Lake County.

New and Expanded Projects Defined 2023

Between groundbreakings, ribbon cuttings, international delegations and everything in between, there were

plenty of occasions to celebrate this year.

Roncadin Signs On to New Space in Vernon Hills

Italian pizza maker Roncadin committed to Lake County for its new and expanded US headquarters, manufacturing, and distribution operations via the purchase of a 68,279 sq. ft. building at 220 N. Fairway Drive, Vernon Hills. With full operations starting in early 2024, Roncadin will employ 170 workers at their state-of-the-art facility.       

Carlson Labs Expands In Lincolnshire & Adds Jobs

In recognizing the value of Lake County’s talent, vitamin and supplements manufacturer Carlson Labs acquired 350,000 sq. ft. for its expanded manufacturing operations at 100-120 Schelter Road in Lincolnshire. This highly-automated facility will retain 50 jobs in Lake County and add an additional 140 to the thriving workforce. 

Nemera Purchases Big New Facility & Hires 100 

Medical device manufacturer Nemera, which produces auto-injectors and syringes in Buffalo Grove, is further expanding in Lake County with the purchase of 190,000 sq. ft. at 600 Darling Drive in Vernon Hills. The facility’s 100 new employees will support production of Nemera’s proprietary ophthalmic products, producing the multidose eyedropper Novelia®.   

We're Putting the CEDS Into Action

Our focus is on elements critical to Lake County's long-term quality of life and business climate.


After a robust process involving business, community, education and workforce stakeholders, LCP finalized a new Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for the county to create jobs, fuel collaboration and strengthen the economy. In 2022, the CEDS received endorsements from Lake County Partners' Board of Governors, the Lake County Board, the College of Lake County Board of Trustees, and the Lake County Workforce Development Board and was formally submitted to the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

While the CEDS reinforces the importance of business retention and attraction, it goes further to explore structural issues that create the foundation for healthy and inclusive economic growth across the vibrant and diverse communities in Lake County. As a result, LCP has spearheaded several major initiatives to support the goals of the CEDS this year.


Middle Eastern Muslim mother playing with her little baby in green park and holding him in arms

Improving Early Childhood Education & Care

Lack of access to high-quality, affordable childcare can limit workforce and impact school-readiness and long-term education outcomes. Along with a coalition of stakeholders, LCP worked with a consultant to understand Lake County's childcare landscape. 

The resulting "Start Early" report identified that Lake County only has enough licensed space to accommodate 37% of children aged 0-5 from households where all parents are working. LCP is working with local partners to address this challenge and ensure the health of Lake County’s childcare system.


Understanding Housing Needs

In order for Lake County to attract and retain residents and businesses, it must have a diverse housing stock that provides options for households at different life stages, ages, incomes, and sizes.

In recognition of the important role of housing in community building and economic development, LCP, with support from Lake County Housing & Community Development and Illinois REALTORS®, initiated a housing analysis to better understand local demographics and identify gaps and opportunities. This year, LCP worked with Kretchmer Associates to complete the study, and is in the process of presenting it to stakeholders to ignite conversations on Lake County’s future housing market. You can read the full report from Kretchmer Associates here. 

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Advancing Diversity, Equity

& Inclusion

Knowing that diversity contributes to a healthy economy and equitable access is an important part of community development, LCP created a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force, which suggested changes to the organization’s bylaws to create seats on the Board of Governors for three representatives from small business or community-based organizations.

At this year's Big Event, LCP’s membership accepted the proposed bylaws, and LCP then worked with the Operations Committee to establish a process to accept nominations—seats are expected to be filled in early 2024.

We're Growing a Greater Chicagoland

The time for the metropolitan region to present a united front on the global stage is now.


In January, LCP joined Lake County, the City of Chicago, Cook County and five other counties across metropolitan Chicago in launching the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership (GCEP), a first-of-its-kind united effort to attract business and strengthen the area’s economic force in a fiercely competitive global market. With financial commitment from each of the partners totaling $1 million for the first in a 3-year pilot, World Business Chicago (WBC) began managing the partnership by expanding its business development and research region-wide to complement existing municipal and county programs. GCEP is focused on promoting the region’s many assets, and work on several fronts began right away. 

Japan Delegation

Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart and LCP president and CEO Kevin Considine joined Chicagoland leaders on a delegation trip to Japan, coinciding with the 50-year sister city partnership between Chicago and Osaka. The visit marked a significant milestone in fostering international collaboration, business attraction and economic growth.

New Regional Asset Map

This year, GCEP stakeholders collaborated on a new report to illuminate the strategic and economic strengths that define the Chicagoland region as a nexus for business and innovation. The report, and its accompanying map, have already become an essential resource for site selectors, executives, and entrepreneurs alike. Review it here.

Industry Events

With a wide-range of events tailored to hot industry trends ranging from food manufacturing to life science investment, WBC oversees nearly 100 events each year to gather leaders together, highlight local innovation and attract investment. LCP collaborates with WBC and GCEP partners to network and leverage these opportunities in new ways.

We're Fueling The Talent Pipeline

Lake County's workforce sets it apart, which is why talent remained a priority and the year was marked by

major investments in STEM, manufacturing and healthcare education.


Rosalind Franklin University


Rosalind Franklin University launched the Helix 51 incubator over four years ago to advance early-stage and start-up life science companies in Lake County. Since its inception, Helix 51 has welcomed companies specializing in fields such as oncology, cardiovascular health, infection disease, fibrotic disease and fibromyalgia.


Using $2 million in matching funds from the Illinois Department of Commerce’s wetlab buildout program awarded in 2022, RFU invested in the build out an additional 14,000 sq. ft. of wetlab space in the IRP that was recently completed and is now available. RFU just announced that a new tenant, 32 Biosciences, along with its subsidiary companies Gateway Biome and Covira, have signed on for space. Together, the companies are advancing research related to the important role that the gut microbiome plays in disease.



College of Lake County 

Last year, the College of Lake County celebrated the grand opening of its crown jewel of manufacturing education: the incredible Advanced Technology Center (ATC) in Gurnee. Momentum at the ATC continues to build as the facility strengthens Lake County’s workforce by providing career pathways focused on industrial technology, fabrication, and welding. It has also provided a space to nurture relationships with local manufacturers. 

Also this year, as part of a state-wide workforce initiative, the College of Lake County revitalized its efforts to attract, train and place diverse healthcare professionals using $1.5 million to provide programming and student support. Funded by the Illinois Community College Board, the Pipeline for the Advancement of Healthcare (PATH) Workforce grant provides financial support and wrap around services to a diverse group of students studying high-demand professions including nursing, medical imaging and pharmacy tech. More than 2,000 students have received direct support from PATH funds. The state approved an additional $1.3 million to continue investing in the development of short- and long-term educational training allowing underrepresented individuals to enter or advance their careers in the healthcare industry.  


Lake County Tech Campus

The Tech Campus is
well-regarded as one of the best career and technical education training facilities in the Midwest. It was established nearly fifty years ago to pool together local educational resources to educate high school students. Today, it is an extension of 22 area high schools spanning Lake and McHenry counties.

This year, the Tech Campus welcomed 2,100  students— the largest cohort in the school’s history, which solidified its position as the biggest career technical secondary educational center in the entire state of Illinois. It is also the largest career center in the state, both in space and student population.

The Tech Campus rounded out the year hosting the Look North Group, a consortium of philanthropic leaders in Lake County which includes the Gorter Family Foundation, the Hunter Family Foundation and the Schreiber Foundation. Through this unique opportunity, the Tech Campus was able to showcase its programs and students, with a special focus on the school's culinary arts program which created, catered and served over 200 guests from the group.


College to Career Collaboration

While Lake County boasts higher than average educational attainment, outcomes vary widely depending on zip code – this theme was echoed in the CEDS, which recommended building a seamless college to career pathway. LCP has played a role in aligning the Regional Office of Education, high schools, community college, other higher education partners, vocational training organizations, and workforce development partners to increase college-going, which is defined as achieving any post-high school occupational certificate or degree.

This year, LCP partnered with North Chicago School District 187, the College of Lake County, Lake Forest College and a group of local foundations on the “Lake County Seamless College to Career Pathway” program to foster 4-year degrees with integrated employment. Efforts are underway to create a formal plan, with LCP expected to head up the employer engagement.


We're Centered on Collaboration & Community

LCP built on its reputation as a connector this year, bringing together leaders from across the region, and the globe, to advance

important discussions around economic vitality. 


BIG Event

LCP revived the highly anticipated Big Event, with another sold-out crowd of over 500 business and civic leaders, with insights from Board leadership, County Board Chair Sandy Hart and Keynote Speaker David Epstein.


Municipal Meeting Series

LCP built on its longstanding meeting series for municipal partners, made possible by the support of Libertyville Bank & Trust, N.A. The meetings continue to reinforce LCP's strong ties with community leaders. 


Invested Together

LCP hosted its second-annual "Invested Together" investor event at Independence Grove to encourage networking, strengthen local connections, and celebrate Lake County's booming economy.

Top Honors

Lake County and Illinois continue to rake in praise and receive national recognition.



LCP became partners in our endeavor to grow our business in Lake County. It has been a partnership built on commitment, can-do mentality, and trust. No matter where or when, LCP was always available to assist in our decision-making, which is why we will always rely on them for our business needs.


Jan Polka

President at RealWheels Corporation

Our collaborative partnership with LCP has significantly increased CLC’s employer engagement through a consistent flow of referrals. We add to the business development team’s resource list as a talent asset for the region, and in return, LCP offers a direct connection to businesses who need talent to grow or locate in the area. CLC is better at responding to business trends and needs because of LCP.


Ali O'Brien

Vice President of Community & Workforce Partnerships at the College of Lake County

LCP has unlocked the essential doors to insight and communication between education and workforce development. The organization has the ability to bring Lake County companies to the table with other-sector partners to learn, collaborate and inspire action. Without this distinct skill, none of our exciting opportunities would be possible.


Cheri Richardson

Executive Director at the Gorter Family Foundation 

From the CEDS process, to organizing tours of local manufacturing plants, to convening thought partners around career pipelines in the region, Lake County Partners has led the work to connect our schools to local businesses and careers. Because of LCP's support, our efforts to propel students to their first career placement have accelerated. Our partnership is essential to our students’ success.


John Price

Superintendent, North Chicago Community Unit School District 187

The data provided by LCP allows me to better understand the needs of the future in manufacturing and has brought to light the workforce challenges ahead. Our relationship with LCP helps us reach community members and legislative representatives, and the organization’s connections and diligence are preparing us for long-term growth.


Kim Wimer

Human Resources Manager at Laser Precision

LCP is committed to improving the workforce and business industry. LCP has been very helpful as a thought-partner to improve the youth workforce system. We will continue to work together to ensure that youth can participate in local industry and have meaningful apprenticeships and internships.


Dr. Michael Karner

Regional Superintendent of Schools

LCP is a great partner to RFU at many levels including representing and connecting us with key legislators and decision-makers, promoting our new IRP and Helix 51 incubator and helping recruit companies from out-of-state. LCP played an important role in getting the RFU campus included in the Illinois Enterprise Zones, which provides financial incentives to establishing companies—an added benefit for companies coming to the IRP.


Dr. Ronald Kaplan

Executive VP for Research, Rosalind Franklin University


Lake County Partners has played a huge roll in the development of our school and its relationship with the surrounding community. The LCP team has introduced us to countless partners that have now become key players in our advisory committees. LCP’s work on the Lake County Ecosystem has played a monumental roll in continuing to see the links between education and the business community. 


Derrick Burress

Principal, Lake County Tech Campus

The missions of Visit Lake County and LCP are interconnected, and our collaboration is vital to enhancing the public image of Lake County as a dynamic place to live, work and visit. Our organizations have a shared vision and play critical roles in supporting the economic well-being of our county and its communities.


Maureen Riedy

President, Visit Lake County

Thank You to Our Many Leaders and Investors

As a non-profit organization, Lake County Partners’ work wouldn’t be possible without you. We appreciate the leadership of our Board of Governors and the generous support of our investors.

The Great News Doesn’t Stop Here.


This year, LCP built on its most ambitious marketing strategy yet to strengthen business outreach by launching campaigns to attract key life science, advanced manufacturing and real estate decision-makers through a combination of emails and LinkedIn and Google advertising. As a result, traffic to LCP’s website increased 24%, with nearly 45,000 users visiting the site to learn about doing business in Lake County. Once on LCP’s site, visitors find a wealth of important information.



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