Cook County, IL (April 19, 2024) – The Southland Development Authority (SDA) was awarded a Department of Energy grant for $100,000 in a very competitive competition. Of the 2,400 applications the DOE received, only 23 winners were selected. 

The award focuses on renewable energy and what programs can be launched in the South Suburbs to drive economic growth through retention of workers and investments in manufacturing in the area. The program is being managed by the Metals HUB, a program of SDA. Harry Holtz, the director of Metals HUB, will lead execution on the three main phases of the program.

  1. Create and develop relationships with OME (original equipment manufacturer) companies around the country with the objective being that they use manufacturers in the Southland area to create their products.
  2. Continue to Develop partnerships with South Suburban high schools to train and retain students and recent graduates for careers in the metal industry. This would be highly skilled, work-based training.
  3. The Metals HUB facilitates an adult training lab where adults can learn skills and new technology to transition to employment at South Suburban manufacturing companies.

“The big story here is about policy trying to do something that’s good in the community. We’re addressing what’s really hindering the success of manufacturers, and that’s access to skilled workers. Many current workers are getting older and there aren’t younger workers who have the skills ready to replace them. When that happens, the business can’t go on. We’re trying to fill that gap with the right people and businesses here in the South Suburbs,” said Bo Kemp, CEO of the Southland Development Authority.

About Southland Development Authority

The Southland Development Authority is a nonprofit business organization launched in 2019 by business, civic, and political leaders from around the Southland who recognize the potential of the region’s people, businesses, and real estate. Our mission is to bring the resources and capacity needed to achieve transformative, inclusive economic growth for the south suburbs with a focus on investments in the Southland’s communities, industry, housing, and workforce.

We work steadfastly to connect Southland business owners, investors, and individuals with key resources to operate and thrive in the region, from equipping mid-size and small businesses in our Business Growth services Program with customized advice and consulting services, to helping local residents access the tools needed to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. With a deep institutional knowledge of the Southland’s people, markets, and history and our multifaceted, experienced team, the Southland Development Authority is a powerful partner for any individual, business, or investor.

Media Contact: Melissa Kennedy | 708.717.8707