200407-F-LS379-1027.JPGWith face mask and shields running low across the state, local businesses and organizations are doing what they can to help first responders and health care workers in the Western Suburbs. In one example, the STEM-education company TinkRworks donated 100 3D-printed face shields to firefighters and paramedics at the Aurora Central Fire Station.

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Black Historty Month postThis month we celebrate Black History Month, a time to acknowledge the sacrifices of countless African Americans for all they’ve done to make this country a fairer place, as well as the many contributions they’ve made to American society.

Originally, Black History Month started out as Negro History Week, which was established by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the second African American ever to receive a doctorate from Harvard. He chose the second week of February because it held the birthdays of two figures integral to the abolishment of slavery: Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

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Chicago SkylineThe greater Chicago area has once again been named number one metro in the U.S. for site selection according to Site Selection Magazine, which ranks major American metros based on corporate investment.

The city earned the top spot thanks to an influx of projects in Cook County funded by major companies like Facebook and Walgreens. Major corporations have flocked to Chicago to take advantage of its world class workforce, which boasts the second highest concentration of computer science graduates in the nation and the sixth most STEM worker in the country.

The growing number of corporations investing in Chicagoland does not end with the Cook County border. In neighboring Will County, multiple firms have built large distribution centers, including a recent investment from IKEA. Suburbs such as Arlington Heights, Bolingbrook and Naperville are becoming the new homes of manufacturing projects for companies such as IHerb and G&W Electric.

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2018logoIllinois agriculture extends beyond the fields of corn, beans and wheat you see while driving on the highway. Illinois is ranked first in the country for food processing sales and is home to 2,372 food processing companies, which support more than 71,000 jobs in our state. Every day we are impacted by the agriculture in our state.

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piggy3Today, March 1 is National Pig Day, which is cause to celebrate in Illinois because we are one of the nation’s top four pork producers. Pig Day is mostly celebrated in the Midwest since it is the home of the holiday. Pigs are an important part of diets and economies all over the world, our country and more specifically, our state.

Only North Carolina, Iowa and Minnesota outranked Illinois’ 1.9 billion pounds of pork production in 2011.

The pork industry contributes more than $1.8 billion to the state’s economy and generates more than $170 million in state taxes. On top of that, market hogs consume about 155 million bushels of corn each year, the equivalent of more than 911,000 acres. Market hogs also consume about 32 million bushels of soybeans.

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