Immigrant Labor: Yesterday about 30 stakeholders gathered to have an informal roundtable discussion about lawful immigration practices and the current workforce shortages experienced by companies across our region (which is consistent with global workforce trends). In partnership with our local chambers of commerce, Lenora and Kari convened interested companies and presenters to share about local and state resources and learn about what other regions and companies have done to address workforce shortages. Presenters included Thomas Arkell and Stacy Rinkenberger from the Dunn Law Firm Immigration Team, Sarah Mellor from The Immigration Project, Norm Griffin from CareerLink/LWIA 15, and Lauren Gibson from the IL Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Regional Office.
Local organizational representatives included Christell Frausto from the Greater Peoria Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Leigh Ann Brown from the Morton Economic Development Council (speaking on behalf of Libby’s/Nestle), and Curt Fisher from G&D Integrated. The agenda and the contact info for the participants are available here. Another conversation with the regional chambers of commerce to discuss further steps is being planned. To learn more about the national workforce shortage and the immigration system, see the US Chamber of Commerce’s newly launched Immigration Data Center.
Electricity Discussion: The “Technical Working Group” (or TWG) is a monthly meeting of local community and economic development professionals. We use the time to share resources, hear from guest speakers and network. This coming Tuesday (July 26) at 10 am we will be hosting a discussion about the surge in electricity prices. Tucker Kennedy of Ameren (and a former EDC employee) will talk about the regulatory issues and the pressures that the utility is facing. Jerod McMorris of Good Energy will also talk about the current and future state of the energy supply market. We don’t usually broadcast our TWG meetings because the topics are usually pretty “inside baseball” but this is an important topic that is impacting both citizens and businesses. If you’d be interested in attending, please drop me a line and I’ll give you more information.
Reminder – Bradley Senior Consulting Projects: Just a reminder that 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. 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.
Have a great weekend.