Some GPEDC updates to end your week:
Regional Job Board: This week we officially launched the Greater Peoria Regional Job Board with a press release and some initial media interviews. The Job Board, which is free to GPEDC investors, uses machine learning to aggregate job openings from the web-based job pages of companies across the region. Think of it like Expedia, which crawls the websites of various airlines to give you all of your flight options in one place. There are currently over 1,800 jobs listed at 83 companies. The goal is for this tool to be the go-to job search tool for two audiences: existing residents who are seeking work opportunities and people considering moving to the region who need a job for themselves and/or maybe a family member or partner. We’ve already seen an uptick in website views. Kari and I will be talking about this on Monday’s Greg & Dan Show (7:40 in the morning on AM 1470).
March Jobs Report: The relatively positive news of the March unemployment report was matched by the March jobs report. The Peoria MSA added 1,100 jobs between February and March 2022. There are 3,800 more jobs in March 2022 than there were a year earlier at this time. The biggest monthly jump was in the “Professional and Business Services” category, which we’ve learned includes most of our temporary agencies. Those types of employers tend to be a bit more sensitive to economic cycles as payrolls ebb and flow. You can see a bit more detail in the image below.
PCs for People: Grace, our American Connection Corps Fellow, helped coordinate another computer give away to low income families. The digital divide is a very pressing issue across our county. With Grace’s help, (GPEDC investor) Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois partnered with PCs for People to host an “Affordable Technology Pop-Up Shop.” PCs for People is a non-profit organization that works to provide affordable technology and internet to those who need it. Eligible individuals received a free desktop from the PCs for People team and also learned about some of the great digital literacy education offered by Goodwill. We are still awaiting final numbers for how many computers were distributed. We look forward to coordinating similar future events.
Community Leadership School: It was an honor to attend this year’s Peoria Community Leadership School graduation, organized by the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce. Both Kari and David, who I think we can all agree are going to be tremendous leaders in Greater Peoria, were enrolled this year. CLS creates lasting friendships and memories and gives its members a close up look at the institutions and people who put the “great” in Greater Peoria. It’s a pretty big time commitment, too, and I appreciated that both were willing to participate. At least one connection has already been made: David was asked by one of his CLS classmates to serve on the board of directors of Peoria Neighborhood House.
Have a great weekend.