Some GPEDC updates to end your week:
Economix: I had the great pleasure of attending Consultant Connect’s annual Economix conference in Columbus this week. Thanks to a sponsorship from GPEDC investor Wabash Valley Power Alliance I was able to spend two days connecting with about two dozen site selectors and numerous colleagues in the economic development world. Economix is first and foremost a networking event, and really well designed to create interactions between participants and the site selectors. But there is also a good bit of learning in between those times, and it was great to learn about some of the best practices my peers are using. Not surprisingly, the big discussion was around workforce availability. I don’t think anyone has cracked that particular nut yet….. Next year’s conference is in Atlanta, and Lenora and I will have a duel to figure out which one of us goes.
GP2030 Video: This is actually a few weeks old, but I keep forgetting to add it to my Weekend Update. The GP2030 Talent Attraction Initiative created and launched another video story about a transplant to our region who is loving the decision they made. Alex and Chelsea Carmona moved from Colorado to Peoria with their children. In the video below, they talk about Greater Peoria’s affordability, natural resources, community feel and proximity to Chicago, St. Louis and Indianapolis (Alex is an artist who enjoys being able to connect with three large cities). This video is splashed across all our social media channels, as well as those of our partners. Please help us spread the word by liking and sharing those posts, or creating your own.
FY2023 Budget: OK, maybe it is weird to share about the GPEDC budget, but our 2023 budget was approved by the Executive Board this week. Next year’s budget will be nearly $1.8 million. I mention the number because it includes over $800,000 in grant funds that were secured by GPEDC staff in advance of next year. These grants will support our work in helping our defense community; assist with making connections between businesses and information technology workforce; supporting our regional port district; conducting a region-wide labor study; connecting small businesses with state funding opportunities; assisting expand broadband in our rural communities; and continuing our work to implement the region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. There is nothing more critical to our success than our investors – those of you who voluntarily choose to support GPEDC and its work. But we are able to take that investment (about $725,000 each year) and leverage it to bring even more resources to our region. My thanks to staff for their hard work in securing these grants, but also to you for making it possible to do so.
Strategy Reports: The packet for that same Executive Board meeting also featured the November strategy reports of the GPEDC staff. If you want to know more about what we’ve been up to over the past month – and if you are an investor, where your dollars are going – this is the place to find it. You can read them here.
Startup Mixer: Distillery Labs and GPEDC are hosting the next mixer for entrepreneurs and the startup ecosystem next Thursday (December 14) from 4 pm – 6 pm at Industry Brewery in Peoria. Please feel free to stop by!
Have a great weekend.