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Local News

Will County hires 20-year Navy vet as facilities manager

VanEssen is certified architect

The Will County Public Safety Complex is seen Friday evening from a live online stream of the site. The Will County Board approved the hiring of a facilities manager to oversee the property and others when it's complete.
The Will County Public Safety Complex is seen Friday evening from a live online stream of the site. The Will County Board approved the hiring of a facilities manager to oversee the property and others when it's complete.

JOLIET – Now that Will County has three buildings in various stages of development, the county board has hired a facilities manager to help oversee the buildings once they’re complete, in addition to the rest of the county’s structures.

Joel VanEssen, a 20-year Navy veteran, was the top choice for the role. He spent the last year as a project manager at University of Chicago Medicine, where he oversaw a major renovation of the campus’ Mitchell Building.

VanEssen is a native of Chicago who received an architecture degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1996. He then used his skills in the Navy in various roles, such as public works officer.

VanEssen’s projected salary is $115,000. A total of 48 people applied for the job, including one internal applicant.

Almost a year ago to the day,
VanEssen was honored for his service in a Navy retirement ceremony in Jacksonville, Florida. He received the Meritorious Service Medal, according to Navy.mil.

In two years at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, VanEssen oversaw hangar construction and repair, completion of the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance facility and demolition of an old power plant. VanEssen also led a resurfacing and runway extension at NAS Jacksonville to support the fielding of the P-8 Poseidon, which is similar in size to a Boeing 737.

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