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July 3rd , 2017
The Regional Link
Summer 2017 Edition

Clay, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper and Marion Counties
Illinois K-12 Education Funding
The state of Illinois politics has been and appears like it will continue to be in utter disarray for the foreseeable future. As of the publication of this article, and barring a budget miracle by June 30th 2017, Illinois will have been without a budget for almost exactly 2 years. This has resulted in, as of June 10, 2017, over $14.6 billion in unpaid bills. According to Reboot Illinois, this number could rise to approximately $25 billion in FY-2019, if the current path continues. The issues surrounding the continued budget impasse are innumerable and include issues surrounding state pension system reform, higher education funding, medicaid payment backlog, and raising the minimum wage. The continued impasse, and furthermore lack of state funding, has also prompted substantial layoffs across nearly every sector of state government operation.

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2017 Regional Industry Cluster Analysis
Throughout 2017, SCIRPDC have been developing a new Regional Industry Cluster Analysis for the five-county SCIRPDC area. Industry clusters are simply groups of geographically bounded inter-related firms that together represent the entire value chain of a specific industry from suppliers, to final products, as well as everything in between.

The purpose for analyzing these regional clusters of related industry firms is threefold:
  • To assess regional economic strengths and assets;
  • Increase regional economic knowledge in order to promote collaborative discussions; and
  • Assist in developing local and regional plans and strategies for expanding the regional economy.
It is our hope that this information will be invaluable to regional stakeholders and their continued efforts for sustainable community and economic development.

Below you may view either the Executive Summary of Findings or entire report by clicking the appropriate link. Feel free to contact us with questions!

The Illinois Unemployment Misconception
About one year ago, we published an article called " The Illinois Wage Misconception" briefly detailing Illinois' appearance of a strong average wage statistic. In reality, the high average wage was a false generalization. The finding's foundation was built on the fact that the small percentage of high-end wage earners simply averaged more wages than other regional states' high earners did. This specific finding balanced and further hid the usually low wages of a majority of Illinois workers. This wage dichotomy, or conflict, created an "illusion" of a high average wage for all Illinois Workers.  

This article discusses another Illinois economic misconception that is easily hidden by broad statistical generalizations. This misconception, or "illusion" is the State of Illinois' lowest unemployment rate in nearly a decade of 4.6%.

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Grants and Opportunites

I want to take the time to invite you to peruse through the multiple grants and opportunities that we provide as your region's planning commission. Whether it be municipal public safety equipment, economic development or public infrastructure projects, we are likely to to be aware of grant opportunities that may be of use to you and your community. You may view our Grant Service Catalog for grants that may fit your specific needs, but we also would like to ask you give us a call because the catalog is not necessarily all inclusive.

We also provide a wide range of loan programs, GIS services, data provision, and other planning related services that can assist your day to day work to better the life of your neighbors, your community and the entire region. You can find all of this information by looking through our website at

Please feel free to contact us if projects arise that you believe could require some helpful guidance or additional funding.

Happy Fourth of July!
South Central Illinois Regional Planning & Development Commission
P: (618) 548-4234 /   F: (618) 548-4236   

120 S. Delmar Avenue  /  Suite A /  Salem, Illinois /  62881-2000

South Central Illinois Regional Planning & Development Commission is an Equal Opportunity Lender and Provider