May 10, 2024

GPEDC Weekend Update- May 10, 2024


Here are some updates to end your week. 

Economic Development Week: Three-quarters of my family had reason to celebrate this week: It was Teacher Appreciation Week (oldest daughter is a high school teacher), Nurse Appreciation Week (my youngest is a nursing student), and, of course, Economic Development Week. Nurses and teachers are absolutely critical to society, and while it might seem goofy to a degree, economic development is pretty important, too. We used the occasion to promote not only the work of Greater Peoria EDC but that of our partners. Throughout the week we used our social media platforms to celebrate economic development wins, key initiatives, and the professionals who do the work. I am blessed to get a chance to lead a really incredible group of dedicated public servants who work to improve our communities and region. My thanks and appreciation to the GPEDC staff and our partners, but also to the investors who make our work possible.

ED Week Panel: Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) helped shine a light on Economic Development Week by hosting a panel discussion webinar focused on what economic development means to different professionals across the State and how wins come in all shapes and forms. Our very own Sally Hanley – an economic development veteran who has been serving Greater Peoria for almost 30 years – was asked to speak on the ways GPEDC stack multiple local, state and federal economic development programs to move projects across the finish line. Other topics included regional collaboration, the growth of particular industries, and advice on driving economic growth. It was easy for Sally to point to initiatives like the Greater Peoria Manufacturing Network, our recently completed Targeted Industry Study, and longstanding relationships among regional, state and federal partners as she had her turn to answer these questions.  

Community Leadership School: As many of you know, the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce organizes the Community Leadership School (CLS), an annual cohort of young (or young-at-heart) professionals who spend weeks learning more about the organizations and institutions working to improve and serve our region. CLS also requires participants to complete a group project that helps advance a community initiative. This year, GPEDC was fortunate to have a CLS project support the work of the Regional Workforce Alliance (RWA). They helped  address how we educate community stakeholders on the scope, purpose, mission, vision, and values of the RWA, and how we better showcase what work is being done in the region with the involvement of RWA leaders and committees. As part of the project, they conducted a brand audit of the RWA – this involved searching for RWA presence on the web and social media, looking at previous communications, and delivering a survey to folks on their experience and knowledge of the RWA. They then provided a framework and some marketing assets to get us started in the right direction of telling the story of the RWA and promoting the good work that our collective impact organization does to advance the workforce of Greater Peoria. You can see a copy of their presentation here.

Strategy Reports: The GPEDC Executive Board met earlier this week. We had a great discussion including a recap of the Economic Development Forum and a deeper dive into our work within Workforce Development. You can read staff’s April strategy reports here.

Port Master Plan Meeting: The Heart of Illinois Regional Port District is hosting a public information meeting in concert with their development of a “port master plan.” The meeting is June 20 from 6 – 8 pm in Room 420 of the Twin Towers Plaza (456 Fulton, Peoria). No registration required. Reach out to Sally at shanley@greaterpeoriaedc.org for more information.

Have a great weekend.