Hoping you all enjoyed your turkey and stuffing last week, and are enjoying this awesome weather. (I’m golfing this weekend — December golf seems like stealing!) Some GPEDC updates to end your week:
Bummer October Unemployment: Right before Thanksgiving, IDES shared local unemployment statistics for October 2021. While we had seen some increase between August and September, that trend reversed itself in October. IDES reports about 2600 less employed people living in our region in October, with the labor force losing nearly the exact same number (keeping the unemployment rate steady at 4.6%). Somewhat strangely, the jobs report shows only 200 less jobs in the Peoria MSA in October than September. That would seem to imply that less people who live here aren’t working but there are still about the same number of people working in our region. Kind of a head scratcher but the numbers are derived from two different survey tools. And of course there are hundreds (if not thousands) of job openings. Some day books will be written on this labor market. Updated graphs at the DataHub.
Woman of Influence: Congratulations to all Peoria Magazine’s Women of Influence profiled in the December edition. But a special shout out to Leigh Ann Brown, our friend and partner at the Morton Economic Development Council. I have had the pleasure of working with Leigh Ann since I was at the City of Peoria and she was at the City of Pekin. From her time in Pekin to her great work in Morton, I can tell you how deserving she is of this recognition.
gBeta Pitch Night: Over the past few months, five Greater Peoria startups have been working on their businesses through Distillery Labs’ gBeta accelerator program. The gBETA program culminates with Pitch Night, a free and open event that offers a unique opportunity for our startup community to mingle and network. At Pitch Night, participating gBETA companies give a five-minute pitch in front of a captive audience of students, potential investors, mentors, entrepreneurs, family and friends. Pitch Night is January 6 from 6 pm – 8 pm at the Betty Jayne Brimmer Center in Peoria Heights. More information and RSVP here.
WCBU Coverage: Two great stories this week via WCBU on regional economic development initiatives. Paul Leamon (Distillery Labs Executive Director), Bob Sehring (OSF CEO and Chairman of the Board for Distillery Labs) and I were interviewed by Tim Shelley regarding the EDA grant announcement for Distillery Labs. And Tim also did a great story on the collaboration between Illinois Central College, Bradley University and Eureka College on their efforts to land an EDA Good Jobs Challenge to help train our region’s information technology workforce. That effort really needs your help in identifying your company’s needs in this area. If you haven’t done so already, please complete their survey here before December 7. The competitiveness of this grant application is directly impacted by the amount of need we document from regional companies.
Have a great weekend!