Vermilion County residents can see solid signs of economic progress as they look back at the year rapidly coming to an end.
The most obvious signs are the construction projects on North Vermilion Street for a retail complex that will include stores such as Kohl’s, Meijer and TJ Maxx.
Operators of the Village Mall also await the opening of Ross Dress for Less, and continue to say they expect to announce more tenants for the facility soon.
Danville wasn’t the only community to see new businesses open their doors in 2012. Hoopeston saw a major expansion of its hospital, now overseen by Carle, including the addition of a nursing home.
Tilton also reaped the benefits of an expansion, as County Market opened a grocery in a building that had been empty for a number of years.
These major additions to the area overshadowed many of the smaller business enterprises that launched during the year.
The area’s major industrial residents also continued strong operations in 2012. ThyssenKrupp, Quaker Oats, Alcoa, KIK, Full-Fill Industries, Fiberteq, Danville Metal Stamping and the major distribution sites such as McLane, Sygma, AutoZone and Central States also continued to roll along.
The region’s health care providers stayed strong as well, with Provena United Samaritans Medical Center, Carle and the VA’s Illiana Health Care System offering residents quality care.
The theme that continued to grow during 2012 is the need for training beyond high school in order to land better paying jobs. Technical and academic training becomes more important daily as local employers look for workers with specific skills to fit specific needs.
With 2013 just around the corner of the calendar, the Vermilion County region appears to be on the edge of a period of significant growth. We all hope that’s a new year’s resolution that becomes a reality.