/ News / PR Tech Biz: News from the City of Joliet, Aurora, Springfield, Wheaton, Atlanta & Chicago

PR Tech Biz: News from the City of Joliet, Aurora, Springfield, Wheaton, Atlanta & Chicago

PR Tech BIZ from Great Tech Pros:

Each month we take a quick look at the local business technology news that’s happening in a city near you and then share it in an easy to read and digest format.


City of Joliet receives 2013 State of Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award

Joliet Illinois TechJoliet, IL

The City of Joliet was honored with a 2013 State of Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award in recognition of  significant achievements in protecting the environment, helping sustain the future, and improving the economy. The City of Joliet joins 26 other Illinois companies and organizations that “demonstrated a commitment to environmental excellence through outstanding and innovative sustainability practices.”

The City of Joliet has realized a variety of cost-saving and environmental achievements in recent years. These achievements include significant improvements to the City’s recycling program, installation of LED traffic signals, and HVAC retrofits at city operated facilities. The City of Joliet retrofitted 57 traffic signals with LED lights and made energy efficiency improvements at major facilities, including Joliet’s historic Union Station. These projects
combined for energy savings resulted in more than 1.8 million kWh per year.

To learn more about this unique recognition, click here.


Multi-Million Dollar Gift To Library Will Enhance Technology



The Aurora Public Library will become The Richard and Gina Santori Public Library of Aurora when it opens its doors in spring, 2015.

Aurora Public Library Board of Directors President John Savage announced today that the Richard and Gina Santori Charitable Foundation is making a donation of $3 million to the Aurora Public Library Foundation to establish a technology endowment.

This endowment will ensure that the downtown library and its branches will have the financial ability to provide the latest technology into the future. Services throughout the library system will be enhanced, including the new library’s Teen Center, which will be able to provide tablets, educational software, music and broadcasting equipment and other emerging devices that will inspire creativity and give teens the tools they need to be successful in school and life.

The LIFE (Learning in an Informal and Fun Environment) Development Center will be able to provide technology tools to partner with educational institutions to teach about careers in science, math and more in an interactive way.

To learn more about this incredible gift, click here.

Chicago Ranked Among World’s Most Competitive Cities for Business in New IBM Report


Chicago IL technology

World’s Most Competitive Cities Report Puts Chicago at the Top of All Major Sectors for BusinessInvestments; Global Location Trends Report Ranks Chicago #1 in U.S. for Foreign Direct Investment


Chicago ranks among the World’s Most Competitive Cities in a new report released by IBM. Of the top 100 global cities, Chicago ranked in the top 8 or better across the board, and 4th in financial services. Of 15 North American cities, Chicago was 2nd in four categories, and third in software development. The overall high rankings reflect the diversity of the Chicago’s economy.

The analysis replicates the strategic shortlisting process that companies often utilize when making location decisions. It takes qualitative measures such as business environment and quality of life, while also weighing quantitative cost factors.

The study looks at five investment types: international headquarters, shared services, software development, financial services and life sciences. Chicago ranked among the top 10 cities in the world in each of these functions.

Chicago Performance
Global Rank
North American
International Headquarters 7 2
Shared services center 6 2
Software development 8 3
Financial services 4 2
Life sciences R&D 7 2

For more about this study, click here.


Clean Technology Ecosystem Report Highlights City of Atlanta and Region as Leaders in Clean Technology

Atlanta Georgia TechnologyReport highlights region’s job creation strengths in top clean tech sectors


ATLANTA –  City of Atlanta Chief Operating Officer Duriya Farooqui joined leaders yesterday at the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) and its Clean Technology Council for the inaugural Clean Tech Executive Forum. According to a new clean tech industry report released by the Chamber, the metropolitan Atlanta region is poised to become a global industry leader in clean technology in several key industry sectors.

The report, which includes the results of a new clean tech economy inventory for the region, reveals that metropolitan Atlanta is home to 541 clean tech company facilities representing 30,605 jobs focused on clean technology. The report also shows Atlanta has clean tech strengths in top industry categories for employment and job creation, including energy efficiency; recycling and solid waste; smart grid; services, and products/materials. Those sectors represent areas for strategic growth in the future, along with solar and water technologies.

Since 2010, the metropolitan Atlanta region has recruited some 34 clean tech companies, creating more than 2,200 jobs. Top clean tech employers in the region include GE Energy Management, Acuity Brands Lighting, Hill-Phoenix, Rock-Tenn, TOTO USA, Exide Technologies, Pratt Industries, Novelis, Siemens, Ventyx, and Southern Company, the report indicates.

To read more about this report, click here.


City of Springfield, Illinois Selects AssetWorks Fleet Management Software Solution

Springfield Illinois TechnologyFleetFocus Chosen as Part of Fleet Consolidation Project


AssetWorks, a leading provider of fleet management software, automated fuel management systems, motor pool systems, and operational asset management systems announced today that the City of Springfield, Illinois has contracted to purchase AssetWorks flagship fleet management software application, FleetFocus.

Springfield, capitol of the State of Illinois and the second largest metropolitan area in the state, operates a fleet of 1,200 diverse vehicles and equipment. The city is in the process of consolidating vehicle maintenance and management operations that are currently distributed across four City departments: Public Works, Fire, Police, and City Water, Light & Power (CWLP). Centralizing fleet operations into a single maintenance facility is part of the city’s goal to increase efficiencies and reduce costs.

As part of the consolidation process, the city selected FleetFocus to replace three disparate management systems. The city identified several specific goals as criteria for their new fleet management software, including improving the distribution of information about the fleet to City administration; minimizing redundant effort; implementing a motor pool reservation system and providing information for an annual vehicle acquisition, maintenance and replacement process. In addition to implementing FleetFocus, the city is reengineering several business processes to support its growth and adopt industry best practices.

For more about this story, click here.


Video: How Wheaton Uses Technology and Science to Clear Streets

Wheaton Illinois TechnologyWheaton, IL

WHEATON, Ill. – Whenever it snows in Wheaton, it takes a lot more than just sending out the snow plows to clear the roads. From predicting the weather to performing some large-scale chemistry operations, Wheaton’s Snow Command Center uses science, technology and a fleet of equipment to get the job done.

A new video called “Clearing the Way with Wheaton’s Snow Command” explains all that goes into clearing Wheaton’s streets, from creating the “Supermix” to prioritizing routes. See inside a snow plow and find out where you shouldn’t park when it snows. Also, find out what snow plow drivers want you to do if you see them in your rearview mirror (hint: it’s the same thing you’d do for a fire truck with its lights and siren activated).

To learn more about this video, click here.

Mayor Emanuel And CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett Announce Comprehensive K-12 Computer Science Program For CPS Students

Chicago IL technologyFive-Year Plan Calls for Creating a Pipeline for Computer Science in Elementary School and for every High School to Offer a Computer Science Pathway

Chicago IL – On the first day of Computer Science Education Week, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett announced the most comprehensive K-12 computer science education plan in a major school district. This plan includes creating a pipeline for foundational computer science skills in elementary schools, offering at least one computer science class at every high school, and elevating computer science to a core subject.

The K-12 program will expand student access to computer science literacy over the next five years. The program will include:

  • In the next three years, every high school will offer a foundational “Exploring Computer Science” course.
  • In the next five years, at least half of all high schools will also offer an AP Computer Science course.
  • Chicago will also be the first US urban district to offer a K-8 computer science pathway, reaching one in four elementary schools in the next five years.
  • Within five years, CPS will allow computer science to count as a graduation requirement (e.g. possibly as a math, science, or foreign language credit). Only thirteen other states have elevated computer science to a core subject instead of an elective.

For more about this extensive program, click here.