Some GPEDC updates to end your week:
Employment and Jobs: So something interesting happened in July. For a few months I’ve shared with you my confusion and frustration about the dichotomy between the “jobs” report (solid monthly growth) and the “employment” report (chaotic fluctuations, but overall positive). And I’ve pointed out the oddity, to me at least, that IDES reports more “jobs” in the Peoria MSA than it does “employed persons.” A lot of that can be chalked up to the porous nature of borders – there is no wall between Greater Peoria and McLean or Knox County. But in July, the tables were sort of turned. We saw a really nice jump in labor force (+3,846) and employed persons (+3,400). Because labor force growth slightly outpaced the employed number, our Greater Peoria unemployment rate increased to 5%. But the jobs number went down, from 168,600 to 167,500 (-1,100). This actually led to a convergence in my graph between jobs and employment, as you can see below (note: the employed number is for the Peoria MSA since we only get the jobs report for the MSA). This doesn’t change the fluid nature of our labor shed, but it will be interesting to see if these numbers run closer to parallel in the next few months.
Supply Chain Gathering: GPEDC is hosting a gathering of local supply chain and procurement professionals to discuss common issues and challenges and have a chance to network with each other. The meeting is on September 20 from 3-5 pm at the Growmark Tank and Truck Center (240 Ashland, Morton). They hope to discuss lessons learned, best practices, resources, and growth opportunities with other supply chain leaders in the area. Maybe there are local suppliers we aren’t aware of who can help fill a gap. Perhaps there are new resources available to address needs. Maybe there are group buying or group business opportunities to uncover. The event will include presentations from folks at OSF Healthcare System, Caterpillar, Morton Industries, Bradley’s Supply Chain Management Institute, and regional support organizations. More information and registration here.
Volunteers Needed: CareerSpark is back in person! But an in person gathering means assembling an army of volunteers to help guide 4,000+ eighth grade students through this amazing event. We need bus greeters, tour guides, and activity coordinators. Do you have a few hours to spare? Does your company or organization have volunteer groups looking for great projects? If so, sign up here or drop Kari a note at email@example.com.
Ameren Grant for Small Businesses: We’ve all probably been a bit shocked by our Ameren bills this summer. This spike in energy costs is impacting citizens and businesses alike. While there are social service programs like LIHEAP to help families, there really hasn’t been much help available for businesses. But Ameren Illinois has stepped up and launched the 2022 Non-Residential Hardship Program, which will provide a one-time credit of up to $500 to qualifying small business and nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations. The organization must have an active Ameren Illinois electric account and be experiencing a hardship. To apply, complete and sign the application to AmerenILCredit@ameren.com. The deadline is September 30 or when funds are expended (so apply now!). Please share this within your networks.
Spotlight on Chillicothe: I’m not sure the “Econ Dev Show” podcast is on your rotation, but it should be! But since it probably isn’t I wanted to point you to a great recent episode that featured our great partner in Chillicothe, Amanda Beadles. Amanda truly loves her work and her community. Give it a listen here.
Have a great weekend.