Saturday, April 25, 2009
sponsored by Graue Inc.

County, agency and business leaders pulling Logan County forward

Classes on job search skills offered Saturday

And more

(Originally posted Friday afternoon)

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[April 25, 2009]  Government, local agencies and business leaders in Logan County are not sitting idly waiting for things in today's economy to get better. Long before most people were aware of the economic troubles that have swept the nation and globe this year, there was a take-charge attitude and plans being mounted that would pull Logan County forward. Those plans are still moving ahead, along with additional actions to aid current conditions.

DonutsBelow are just some of this month's happenings. Most were discussed at the Logan County Board meetings this month.

Workforce Expo to help teach job application skills

Anyone wanting to get into the work force will have an opportunity to learn the skills necessary in today's market to get a job. This Saturday, April 25, free classes will be offered at the Lincoln Recreation Center from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Vic Martinic, a Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce representative, announced that the Workforce Readiness Expo would be extremely beneficial to anyone who is re-entering the work force, just been laid off or is entering the job market for the first time. It is for anyone looking for work. Participants will be able to choose from four workshops that cover resume and cover letter writing, navigating and completing online applications, interview skills, and self-marketing.

The chamber will also provide refreshments and child care, Martinic said.

See article for more details: Chamber hosts Workforce Readiness Expo free to community

Economic developments

CEDS progress

The city of Lincoln held its Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy focus group on April 15. Bill Martin, a member of the county board, regional planning commission and development partnership, attended the first session. "I thought it went extremely well," he said. "We allowed two hours and were done in an hour and a half. We got a lot of projects listed and prioritized, and then grouped them." He said that the results would be made public at a later date.

Once the information from these gatherings is available and other processes are completed, the CEDS will be submitted to the Peoria-based Economic Development Partnership of Central Illinois and become part of the regional CEDS.

Martin said he is thrilled to be at this point in the process "because we've been working on this a long time. But, we're almost there."

Tom Akers from Heartland College is leading the focus group process.

Further CEDS focus group meetings:

  • Logan County: Monday, April 27, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the Logan County Courthouse

  • Atlanta (representing communities in the northern half of Logan County): Tuesday, April 28, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the Olympia South Elementary School, 103 NE Fifth St.

  • Mount Pulaski (representing communities in the southern half of Logan County): Wednesday, May 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m., location to be announced

Other development projects in process:

Joel Smiley, executive director of Lincoln & Logan County Development Partnership, said that Aug. 31 is the target date to have the business incubator up and running, and July 31 is the goal to get the SCORE program up and running. Smiley said that two business startup applications have been formally submitted and two more are in process. He expects to have meetings with SCORE volunteers in May to get that program going in part sooner than the end of July.

How to start a small business in Elkhart

Smiley said he would be doing a business seminar in Elkhart on May 2. The focus would be how to start a small business in Elkhart. (See article.)

He said he would duplicate the program to take to other communities in Logan County. "I think it is good because it will focus in on what we're trying to do to generate jobs here in Logan County," he said.

Smiley said that he would be attending the National Business Incubator Conference in Kansas City and bring back the latest concepts to apply to our program.

Another of his areas of emphasis now is Windpower 2009, a May 4-7 conference and exhibition in Chicago. The focus will be on both manufacturers and end users, he said.

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Auto Sales

Public transportation

Pat O'Neill, county liaison to Community Action, said that the next public transportation meeting will be on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at the Mason City Public Library.

At this meeting, communities will be asked to rate public transportation needs from most urgent to least. Some of the choices for Logan County to prioritize are participation in a shuttle between counties; transportation for Lincoln Christian College and Lincoln College students around town; and transportation to the hospital or other community services and shopping in Lincoln.

The following meeting has been set for May 12.

County meets state

This week the county board chairman, Terry Carlton, continued his efforts to make Logan County needs known to state lawmakers. He attended the United Counties Council of Illinois Legislative Day in Springfield on Wednesday. His plans included meeting with other county board representatives and legislators in small groups to discuss some of the challenges that counties face. He planned to meet with 44th District Sen. Bill Brady.

United Counties Council of Illinois assists counties with legislation and lobbying. The Legislative Day was established "to acquaint county board members with the legislative process and to lobby their representatives on priority bills for counties." Often counties are financially squeezed when the state issues costly unfunded mandates. This event provides a focused opportunity to explain legislation impacts and needs.

Carlton planned to express support of pending legislation that could take the county out from under property tax extension limitation. "That would be a good thing for us," he said.

Carlton has established connections and regular communications with all of the state representatives for Logan County: Sens. Larry Bomke and Bill Brady and Reps. Bill Mitchell and Rich Brauer.

Carlton said that he would also be gathering information from the Springfield Airport Authority.

Carlton said that one of his primary interests while meeting with the state legislators at this time would be "keeping up with stimulus funds and what is happening in the economy."


Contacts, information and Web sites:

Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce
Executive Director Andi Hake
1555 Fifth St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Community Action Partnership of Central Illinois
Executive Director Angela Stoltzenburg
1800 Fifth St.
Lincoln, Illinois 62656
Phone 217-732-2159
Fax 217-735-1753

Lincoln & Logan County Development Partnership, NFP
Executive Director Joel Smiley
1555 Fifth St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County
Executive Director Geoff Ladd
1555 Fifth St.
Lincoln, IL 62656

Addresses of state legislators:

United Counties Council of Illinois:

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