February 29, 2024

GPEDC Weekend Update- March 1, 2024

Here are some updates to end your week. 

ReadyNation: It was an honor to be asked to speak about the importance of early childhood education when it comes to economic development at a press conference held in Peoria this week. Organized by the Council for a Strong America, the press conference centered on the release of a new report, “Social-Emotional Skills: An Early Childhood Fundamental.” Now, you might not think about the connection between economic development and early childhood education, but the ties are strong. At its most basic level, an affordable, accessible, and available childcare system serves both employer and employee. When childcare is unreliable, younger workers can end up late or absent from work, impacting both sides. But more importantly, children learn important life skills in preschool and daycare: teamwork, listening, patience, sharing, etc. Preschool prepares children for Kindergarten, and studies show that Kindergarten-readiness is a key to educational success. GPEDC has been a member of ReadyNation Illinois since 2019, and I’m proud of the work they do in advocating for investment that impacts our business community.

Rural Illinois: This week Kathie and Dorsey region participated in the 35th Annual Rural Community Economic Development Conference in Springfield. Recognizing the importance of learning opportunities like this, GPEDC sponsored the participation of a number of professionals from our region, including representatives from Tazewell County, Germantown Hills, Elmwood, Chillicothe, Morton, Lincoln, and the Mason County Health Department.  The conference highlighted placemaking strategies, business succession planning, rural housing development, and renewable energy for rural development. The conference highlights efforts and best practices in rural communities throughout Illinois.

Next GPMN Meeting Scheduled: The next meeting of the Manufacturing Network will be Thursday, March 14, at 2:30 PM. The meeting will focus on workforce challenges, and some of the programs in our region to help address those challenges. Our primary speaker will be Rich Oakes, President of GigSmart. Rich’s presentation will be on the expectations and needs of today’s workforce. Jeffrey and Dick worked collaboratively on this program, which will also include presentations about CareerSpark, SkillsUSA, Talent Pipeline Management, and other initiatives to assist employers.  Drop Dick a line at dpeplow@greaterpeoriaedc if you’d like more information or would like to attend.

Makers Madness: It isn’t too late to nominate companies who make “The Coolest Thing Made In Illinois.” The Illinois Manufacturers Association organizes this annual online contest to highlight amazing manufacturers, the fantastic products made in our state, and the incredible people who make them. Makers Madness nominations are open through March 3. Nominations can be made only at www.MakersMadnessIL.com

Have a great weekend.