Rural Outreach and Development

Telephone poles in a field.

Bridging the Digital Divide

Broadband Access

​Illinois Connected Communities is a partnership among the Illinois Office of Broadband, the Evanston-based Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, and local philanthropy. The program is designed to engage a first-year cohort of communities through best practice curriculum and expert consultation.
Communities are working to define their technology goals; measuring current levels of broadband access, adoption, and use; and seeking technical assistance and other funds to meet community needs.
By the end of the program, Tazewell, Peoria and Woodford Counties will have completed a community-driven, broadband strategic plan that articulates the community’s broadband vision and identifies an action plan for progress toward improved broadband access in the areas of community and economic development, education, civic engagement, healthcare, agriculture, and more.

Tanner's Orchard in Peoria, Illinois.

Promoting Sustainable Agriculture and Economic Growth

AgTech Connect

A team from organizations across the Greater Peoria region are mobilizing to make the region a hub for sustainable agriculture under the AgTech Connect initiative. The mission of AgTech Connect is to promote economic opportunity, sustainable growth and stimulate innovations in agriculture.
To facilitate this mission, the AgTech Connect will host quarterly sessions to bring together people representing agriculture, technology, food and community development agencies to gain insights and plant the seed for opportunities with a connected future of how technology can yield new growth.

rocket statue in front of a building

Connecting local businesses to growth opportunities

Rural Business Development

Community development and economic development in rural areas increasingly go hand in hand.
Greater Peoria Economic Development Council is a catalyst for rural prosperity. We serve our rural region because it’s more than a great place to live; it is also integral to our region’s spirit and character and provides us with everyday essentials. Through partnerships with local leaders, we provide tools and resources that ensure rural communities and businesses have what they need to sustain business growth and economic opportunity for our region. We foster opportunity and work to build capacity in our rural community. Working together, we provide technical assistance to support economic development and build essential services for businesses and communities.


We’re Here to Help

Kathie Brown headshot

Kathie Brown

Director of Rural Outreach and Development