05292021CM0227rNORTH LAWDALE – State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) joined other state officials and The Will Group to celebrate the first completed phase of the build out of the new K-Town Business Development Centre in the North Lawndale neighborhood.

The centre was launched with the support of state capital dollars for minority-owned businesses, set to create 100 jobs and economic growth for the community.

“We are excited to announce the opening of the K-Town Centre, a multi-tenant warehouse and manufacturing center in the heart of North Lawndale – set to bring meaningful employment and investment to the West Side of Chicago,” Van Pelt said. “Thank you, Governor Pritzker and Lieutenant Governor Stratton, for investing in this anchor project that spurs continued economic growth in the state.”

The new K-Town Business Centre, located at 4647 West Polk Street, sits on a 3.3-acre parcel of land that long sat vacant and is now home to a mixed-use facility for manufacturing, distribution and warehousing. It specializes in contract manufacturing, utility supplies and the LED fixtures used for the City of Chicago’s Smart Lighting program - one of the largest street lighting modernization programs in the country.

To help local residents benefit from the economic opportunities created by this project, The Will Group is working to recruit employees directly from the North Lawndale neighborhood, partnering with an array of private and public sector partners including ComEd Construct Program, META24, Metropolitan Family Services, the Safer Foundation, St. Sabina's Strong Futures Program and HACIA Works.

Ensuring diversity and representation in its workforce has been a priority for The Will Group, whose own workforce is currently over 80% diverse. With more than 20 residents to date already hired for work at the K-Town complex, The Will Group continues to welcome returning citizens for job training offered through the company’s second chance initiative.

“This new center will spur economic growth for the city while also providing jobs for Black, Brown, and citizens reentering the workforce,” Van Pelt said. “I look forward to this launch, as it will help fill some of the equity gaps in the business sphere.”

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