Empowering Communities

Lighting Technology Leader Believes in Second Chances

November 1, 2016

Guest Commentary:  Community Partner

This is the first of an ongoing series on ComEd’s community partners, highlighting the work they do to make a difference in the communities we serve – and in which our employees work, live and play. The Powering Lives Network welcomes ComEd’s community partners to submit stories for consideration by emailing stories@comed.com.

The Will Group’s Growth Creates Opportunities for Ex-offenders

By Stephen L. Davis, president, the Will Group


There are plenty of reasons for me to be excited that my company, The Will Group (TWG), is playing a role in bringing smart street lights and other smart lighting technologies to northern Illinois. Topping my list is the opportunity to provide a second chance to people who desperately deserve one.

Stephen L. Davis,(Courtesy LeVern A. Danley III)

I founded TWG, a Chicago-based lighting technology company, in 1986. TWG currently employs more than 50 people. Over the past five years, we have hired 15 ex-offenders who, prior to being hired by TWG, found themselves chronically unemployed.

We are grateful to be in a position to create outstanding career opportunities for young people who made mistakes but who are working hard to get their lives back on track and contribute to society in a meaningful way.

As we celebrate TWG’s 30th anniversary this year, we’re also celebrating TWG’s 15-year relationship with ComEd.

When I started TWG, I had a vision of owning and operating a business that would honor my father, William Davis, by promoting his core values of integrity, pride, and hard work while also giving back to the community that we serve. TWG’s relationship with ComEd falls right in line with that vision, and it has proven to be a mutually beneficial partnership. TWG has been working with ComEd to deploy smart LED streetlights in ComEd’s service area.

TWG introduced smart fixtures to the City of Chicago in the early 2000’s. Since then, TWG has engaged in numerous projects focusing on emerging technologies that use wireless communications, outage reporting, and lighting dimmer control systems. We anticipate continued growth as the lighting infrastructure throughout the region is modernized, creating more career opportunities at TWG.

The negative effects of chronic unemployment are all too apparent in the Chicago area. At TWG, we know that every job my company creates can make a big difference in a person’s life and within that person’s community. The people that we have hired have proved they are ready to make a commitment to themselves, to their families and to our company. They continue to demonstrate every day what my father always said to me as a child and young man: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” That’s what makes us The Will Group.