Phase 2 of the new 4-county economic development dynamic is underway. And the new effort has a name. It’s now known as Focus Forward Central Illinois. The public based effort is taking a different direction to develop a new economic guide. Steering committee Chair Jim Baumgartner says there is an exact strategy, so everyone is pointing the same way.
Goals for 5 to 7 years are on the horizon. A meeting of about 160 Thursday night focused on detailing area assets. Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford and Mason Counties make up Focus Forward C-I. The group wants to see 33-35 million dollars added to the area economy each year, 13,000 jobs added and a 5% population increase.
Focus forward Central Illinois drew about 160 stakeholders at a meeting compile about 200 area assets, so they can be prioritized. Baumgartner says the groups consultant Vital Economy continues to guide the process.