Some GPEDC updates to end your week:
June Jobs Report: I shared pretty good news last week about the sharp increase in the labor force and number of employed persons between May and June. This week I’m sharing the June “jobs” report for the Peoria MSA (for first time readers, “jobs” are assigned to the area in which they are located, regardless of where the employee lives). Like the employment report, we saw a nice jump in June with an increase of 1,800 jobs in the MSA. No areas really stand out and there was pretty modest growth across most categories. Unlike the somewhat chaotic up-and-down of the employment reports, the jobs report has been amazingly consistent since January 2022, adding jobs every month. In total, 7,200 jobs have been added between January (161,500) and June (168,700). I’m convinced that the guy running the employment survey is just crazy, but I can’t prove it…. Check out the table here.
We Hear You in Chicago: Last week, Andrew introduced Pierre Paul, the founder & CEO of We Hear You, LLC at the 8th iVentures Accelerator Demo Day in Chicago. We Hear You started as a Bradley student project and is also a graduate of our first gBeta accelerator. They have two products under development, an ASL translator for customer service and a device to help people with mobility challenges operate automatic doors. We Hear You is the first startup nominated by the Illinois Innovation Network to attend the iVenture Accelerator. We’re thankful to Manu Edakara, the iVenture team, Kyle Harfst, Bruce Sommer and many others for making this possible. Check out the video of their presentation here.
A Message From Ameren: Over the course of the last few months, Ameren has been engaged in discussions with community partners about the energy shortage downstate and the resulting increase in customer bills. In addition to cost impacts, media have recently reported on the warning issued by the regional grid operator about the potential need to implement temporary controlled outages to maintain electric grid stability. Naturally, these public reports have prompted concerns and questions. Ameren wants to reassure its customers that they believe the risk of temporary outages in our territory is low. However, should electricity demand exceed available electric generation capacity – on very hot days for example – MISO may call for utilities like Ameren Illinois to reduce electric usage on our system. If this occurs, plans are in place to reduce electric demand from industrial customers (voluntarily) that will very likely cover obligations for electricity reduction by MISO. This reliability plan minimizes power interruptions to residential customers, health care facilities and other critical customers. To help explain this situation, Ameren created a short video message from their Vice President of Customer Experience. We appreciate Ameren being proactive with their messaging on this important issue.
Citizens Leadership Academy: Peoria County and the City of Peoria once again offering their Citizens Leadership Academy program. This is a great way for community members to get a more in-depth understanding of city and county departments. Many graduates have gone on to serve on the County Board or City Council or have become more actively involved in their community. The program is free, but space is limited. Applications are available here and are due 8/25.
SBDC Awards: Please join the Robert and Carolyn Turner Center for Entrepreneurship as they recognize and celebrate the success of entrepreneurs, start-ups, rural businesses, innovators, and the people that support them. This in-person event will be held on the Bradley University campus (Hayden-Clark Alumni Center). This event will showcase the success of the Center’s clients and the strong relationships with community partners. Winners are dedicated to their business and are making a positive impact in the community. The event is Thursday, September 1 from 4 pm to 6 pm. Registration is free but required here.
Strategy Reports: July was another great month for GPEDC and the work it does with the help of your investment and support. You can read the month’s strategy reports here.
Have a great weekend.