May Jobs Report: Last week I shared with you some of the modest improvement in the local May unemployment numbers (compared to April). This week we take a peek at the local jobs report for May. Here we see pretty strong numbers, and further disconnect between the two reports if you ask me. As the chart below demonstrates, the jobs report shows pretty strong growth with 1,000 jobs added between April and May. This is on top of a jump of 2,100 jobs between March and April. The biggest increase was in “mining and construction” (+400) and the only decrease was in “retail trade” (-200). As most of you reading this know, there are plenty of jobs available. Our Greater Peoria Job Board shows 1,800 positions open at 98 companies. But even that underestimates the amount of openings. If UnityPoint is looking for 8 CNAs they might only have one job posting on the board. More detail below.
GPEAK Meeting Recap: This past Monday over 30 employers and educational partners met at ICC to learn about the outcomes and impact of the GPEAK (Greater Peoria Essential Abilities and Knowledge) framework since its first pilot in 2020. In partnership with Northern Illinois University’s EdSystems team and Peoria partners, GPEAK was developed in response to requests from regional employers to train our workforce with the essential skills that will enable them to be successful in the workplace. There are 10 unique badges an individual can earn, which is based on the state of Illinois’ recommended technical and essential employabilities skills and 50 performance indicators provided by regional employers to indicate mastery. Since its inception, GPEAK has awarded 499 digital badges to 489 students for mastery of various essential skills competencies, ranging from communication to conflict resolution to critical thinking and more. There are currently 11 sites training students and workers using the GPEAK model to train workers and students in these essential skills. Visit this site to learn more about the training or becoming a GPEAK host site locally.
Newcomer Mixer: Please spread the word to any friends, co-workers and employees about our next welcome mixer for newcomers to Greater Peoria. On Thursday, August 25 from 6-9 pm, GP2030 is hosting a pool party at Mt. Hawley Country Club for anyone who has relocated to the region in the last three years. The event will include light snacks, one hosted beverage per guest, and a cash bar will be available. There will also be a lifeguard on hand. Registering here is free but required by August 19.
Startup Mixer: Speaking of mixers, Distillery Labs and its partners are hosting the next mixer for the startup community (and those who want to be in the startup community) next Thursday, July 21 from 4 – 6 pm at Sankoty Lakes in Spring Bay. No registration is required – just stop by!
Bradley: The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Bradley University is currently accepting applications from established, for-profit companies, interested in participating in the Senior Consulting Project (SCP) Program for the Fall 2022 semester (August 24 – December 14). This program is one of the oldest business assistance programs at Bradley and is provided to the client at no cost. Teams of senior-level business students spend a semester working, in a consulting capacity, on problems facing central Illinois businesses. Each semester approximately 15-20 projects are completed. Every project includes a detailed industry and competitor analysis as well as a survey that is administered by the students on your behalf. For full consideration, apply here before the August 5 deadline.
Strategy Reports: We had a great quarterly board meeting earlier this week. You can read a great summary of the work the entire organization is doing here.
Have a great weekend.