May 26, 2015


Memorial Day honors those who gave all for our country and marks the official start of summer.  As we enjoyed ceremonies and barbeques over the long weekend, the engine of economic growth chugged forward in Southwestern Illinois.  Included below are new jobs coming at Scott Air Force Base, the recognition of $1B contributed to our economy by our 5 educational institutions and a host of other good news stories.


Enjoy this edition of the Good NewsLink!





Executive Director, Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois



Yearly impact of area colleges and universities tops $1 billion

(Illinois Business Journal, 5/09/2015)

The colleges and universities of Southwestern Illinois have an annual economic impact on the region of more than $1 billion, according to analyses performed by each. They are also growing quickly. 

(Read More)


Scott AFB to get 41 jobs with start of new unit

(Belleville News-Democrat, 5/18/2015)

Scott Air Force Base will get 41 new jobs as a result of the activation of Detachment 9 of the newly minted Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center.
(Read More) 


LCSI Study Shows PLA/Tripartite Works

 (Construction Forum Stl, 5/2015)

Sometimes it takes a new set of eyes to recognize the value of something that has been in front of us all along. The Southern Illinois construction industry has taken the construction's Ugly Duckling - the Project Labor Agreement (PLA) - and turned it into a swan.

(Read More) 


STEM program at JJK Center gets boost

(Belleville News-Democrat, 5/15/2015)

The STEM program at the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center got a boost Thursday, thanks to a $20,000 donation from two of America's largest corporations.

(Read More) 


Plummer plans 3 Holiday Inn Express hotels

(Belleville News-Democrat, 5/18/2015)

An Edwardsville, Illinois, company is developing three Holiday Inn Express hotels throughout the region.
(Read More) 


Business Competition Begins

(WBGZ Radio, 5/21/2015)

The Metro East Start-Up Challenge is returning for a second year, and is now taking entries.  The Challenge seeks to identify, reward and support entrepreneurs across the Small Business Development Center's nine-county service area. 
(Read More) 


Upgrade in the works for SIUE dental school in Alton
(Advantage News, 5/17/2015)

When Southern Illinois University Edwardsville dental students return to school next fall, they'll see some much-needed changes at their clinic.

(Read More) 


Belleville aldermen to vote on TIF for Shrine development

(Belleville News Democrat, 5/26/2015)

Two years ago, Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert began talks with the Keller family of Effingham to put together a deal to bring an upscale hotel to the city.

(Read More) 


Illinois "Clean Jobs" Growth

(, 5/15/2015)

Illinois has 104,000 jobs in the "clean energy" business.  This is according to a report by six organizations that work in the clean energy field, and the number represents a 7.8 percent increase in the last 15 months. 
(Read More) 


Trio helping bring Metro East's Main Streets back to life

(Illinois Business Journal, 5/09/2015)

Scott and Bud Jacob are brothers, and Gregg Crawford grew up alongside them in Fairview Heights. They've stayed pals for decades.    The terms of the redevelopment agreement called for Main Street Development to purchase the building from the city (for $468,000) and for the city to reimburse the developer the same amount toward construction costs, out of its TIF funds.

(Read More) 


Nineteen area road projects recommended for federal funding

(Illinois Business Journal, 5/10/2015)

Municipal governments are figuring on absolutely no help from the state of Illinois on some of their long-range road projects in coming years, but that doesn't mean they have given up on outside financial assistance altogether.

(Read More) 


Engineering work planned for Lebanon bypass; traffic signal coming
(Belleville News-Democrat, 5/25/2015)

Watching from behind the counter at the Subway restaurant along Illinois 4 in Lebanon, Lauren Nadler regularly sees traffic back up south of the U.S. 50 intersection.

(Read More) 


East Alton home development relied on unique financing mix

(Illinois Business Journal, 5/09/2015)

Village officials are cheering a $15.7 million effort to rebuild the housing base by way of a unique combination of funding support from government and business.

(Read More) 


Hibbett wants to be entrenched in Alton

(Advantage News, 5/10/2015)

As a corporate company with more than 1,000 stores in 31 states, on first glance Hibbett Sports wouldn't look to be community-oriented, but that's exactly what it strives to be.

(Read More)


SWIC approves proposals to maintain, beautify campus

(Belleville News-Democrat, 5/20/2015)

The Southwestern Illinois College Board of Trustees on Wednesday night approved proposals that will update the appearance of the school.
(Read More)


Gander Mountain will open Thursday in O'Fallon
(Belleville News-Democrat, 5/24/2015)

Gander Mountain will celebrate its grand opening in O'Fallon on Thursday morning.
(Read More) 





Regions Bank, Wells Fargo, PNC among 2015 Gallup Great Workplace Award winners

(Illinois Business Journal, 5/2015)

PNC Financial Services Group, Regions Bank and Wells Fargo have been named among 40 winners of this year's Gallup Consulting Great Workplace Award.
(Read More) 


SIUE Alumni Association distributes nearly $30K in scholarships

(Illinois Business Journal, 5/2015)

Illinois Business Journal 5/2015-EDWARDSVILLE - Fourteen students will take advantage of $30,000 in annual scholarship money offered by the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Alumni Association.

(Read More) 


HSHS St. Elizabeth's Hospital receives Practice Greenhealth Partner for Change Award

(Illinois Business Journal, 5/2015)

HSHS St. Elizabeth's Hospital has been awarded the 2015 "Greenhealth Partner for Change" Award by Practice Greenhealth, a national networking organization that urges health-care institutions to commit to eco-friendly practices.

(Read More)


Record Number of Graduates for LCCC

(, 5/17/2015)

Lewis and Clark Community College is celebrating it's largest class in history.  A record number of students will be walking at the Commencement ceremony for the 44th year.

(Read More)


Eight graduate from RBGA leadership program

(Advantage News, 5/20/2015)

The RiverBend Growth Association celebrated the completion of its third Leadership Academy recently with eight graduates.
(Read More) 

Woolpert Receives Ameren-Contractor Eagle Award
(Saint Louis Construction News and Review, 5/14/2015)
Ameren Corp. has awarded an Ameren-Contractor Eagle Award to Woolpert for the firm's annual manhole inspection project, conducted in the city of St. Louis. The honor is "in recognition of exceptional safety performance and commitment to the safety of your employees."
(Read More) 

Open houses to share info for small-business owners, entrepreneurs
Illinois Business Journal, 5/20/2015)
The Illinois Metro East Small Business Development Center, in partnership with SCORE and others, is holding open houses for small-business owners and entrepreneurs at two locations.
(Read More) 

Bike Trail Opens Saturday

(Bike Trail Opens Saturday, 5/13/2015)

The construction of the Ronald J. Foster Heritage Trail in Glen Carbon is complete following a two-year project.  
(Read More) 

CARD to showcase solar panel project

(The Edwardsville Intelligencer, 5/16/2015)

On May 20, Collinsville Area Recreation District (CARD), will be holding a ribbon cutting ceremony for their new, energy-efficient, solar panels.
(Read More) 

Saales honored with Circle of Care Award

(Illinois Business Journal, 5/12/2015)

Steve and Jane Saale, of Brighton, this month were presented with Riverbend Head Start's Circle of Care Award at a dinner and auction that helped raise more than $112,000 to support the non-profit's mission.
(Read More) 

International Trade Center Equips Businesses to "Go Global" May 28
(, 4/19/2015)
In tune with World Trade Month, the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) International Trade Center (ITC) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is hosting "Go Global in the Digital Age: Taking on the International Market" from 12-2 p.m. Thursday, May 28 at SIUE's Barnard Birger Hall.
(Read More)

Leadership Council members associated
with projects
 in this issue 

McKendree Logo
Lewis & Clark Logo


Validus Business Strategies


Holland Logo



Madison County IL


St. Elizabeth's Hosp

America's Central Port Logo
Riverbend Growth Association
Ameren IL Logo

Contact Information

Ellen Krohne, Executive Director, Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois


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