Navigating the Loss of a Major Employer

APA Illinois Chapter


Wednesday, September 13, 2017
11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. CDT

CM | 1.25

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What happens when your community loses a mayor employer? How do you recover from losing hundreds or thousands of jobs? What do you do with the now vacated large facility or corporate campus? What if residents fight the re-use or redevelopment plan? As regional, national, and global economies shift, once stable and long-term corporate citizens are relocating and reinventing themselves. As this occurs, how does a community deal with the loss?

This session looks at municipalities within the state of Illinois that have lost a major employer, and how that loss has influenced the communities’ futures, presenting both hardships to overcome and opportunities to be realized. Such a loss can have multiple effects that ripple throughout a community including a declining population and tax base, increased vacancy rates of both residential and commercial properties, deteriorating community appearance, and the issue of repurposing or redeveloping large areas of land once considered community staples. The loss can also present opportunities for new development as large tracks of land now become available.

Three panelists will discuss the loss of large-scale employers within their communities, the impact of the loss, and how they dealt with or are actively dealing with this new reality. Oak Brook will address the loss of McDonald’s world headquarters and campus, Lisle will discuss the closing of Lucent Technologies and the struggles with accommodating Navistar moving in, and Schaumburg will discuss the closing of a major Motorola facility. Discussion will include how loss of a major employer has affected their communities, as well as approaches and struggles to reactivate the vacant corporate land and facilities, and growing other local employment to offset the loss. The panelists will highlight the role of planning and the successes, failures, and lessons learned from the community’s efforts to plan for and recover from the loss of a major employer.


Matt Frank, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Matt Frank is a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Urban and Regional Planning. Matt worked as a Planner for the DuPage Community Development Department for three years. Matt has spent the last eighteen years at the Village of Schaumburg where he has worked as ... Read More

John Houseal, FAICP

Confirmed Speaker

Robert Kallien, AICP

Confirmed Speaker


Russ Whitaker, JD

Confirmed Speaker

Rosanova & Whitaker, Ltd. DePaul University College of Law Read More

Contact Info

Trevor Dick,