Placing Governors State at the Center of World-Class Logistic Cluster
A short drive through the areas surrounding Governors State University and the innovation and development quickly flocking to the region becomes evident: Amazon’s 1.3 million square foot building along I-57, the proposed South Suburban Airport located near Peotone, and continued construction on the highways connecting with rail lines throughout the region create an unique logistics synergy promoting economic development.
Reggie Greenwood, new Director of Governors State University’s Supply Chain Innovation Center and Business Incubator (SCICBI), sees this as a logistic hub's dream.
“All these huge new projects happening around GSU are related to the logistics industry and are set to create a world class logistic cluster with SCICBI at the center."
As the SCICBI nears its first anniversary, Greenwood sees the development to the region as an aid to the center furthering its mission in the future. By utilizing the knowledge and research of the university to stimulate economic growth in the region through a partnership between educational institutions with public and private companies in the regional economy, SCICBI will continue to add value to the region.
“There is a synergy from organizing those three types of organizations together around supporting a local economy to provide well-paying jobs for people,” Greenwood explained.
Knitting these organizations together is familiar work to Greenwood who has had careers in all three, including time spent working as an adjunct professor at Governors State, on the board of the Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation, as well as owning and managing his own architectural woodworking company. To Greenwood, leading SCICBI feels like a natural fit.
With the recent hardships put on the supply chain by the COVID-19 pandemic, the center has its work cut out and Greenwood's goal is to get the region on a sustainable track.
“The COVID world has shown that supply chains need to and can evolve to contribute more to local economies, and therefore be more sustainable, resilient, ethical,diverse and local. At the innovation center, we want to provide value to our local companies and firms and have then asses how they currently are working––pre and post production––and then assist firms in deploying a variety of new techniques based on new technology.”
The relationships between professors at GSU and local businesses is key to improving the effectiveness of the supply chains and their ability to meet new demands and changes, said Greenwood.
Over the last year SCICBI has worked with the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), Prairie State College, Olive Harvey College, OAI, and Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation to develop partnerships which will help it deliver its services starting Spring 2020.
SCICBI also applied for a $578K grant for operational funds over three years to support SCICBI’s services and provide resources for hardware/ equipment, software/databases, expert-in-residence, and other activities.
Looking to the future, Greenwood considers the growing region and the opportunities to work closely with federal, state, and local government.
“I say that actively, the opportunity for the center and GSU is substantial.”