April 22, 2021


There’s been no shortage of positive news for this edition of Good NewsLink with a couple of major infrastructure developments leading the headlines in recent weeks, in addition to significant investments in various sectors across the Metro East, businesses expanding in our region and more.

Earlier this month, the Abilene Military Affairs Committee from Abilene, Texas celebrated the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois and Scott Air Force Base for their 2019 Abilene Trophy win during a private ceremony held on April 8 by the 375th Air Mobility Wing Commander. This is the third win of the prestigious award for the Leadership Council and its surrounding communities, which were recognized for outstanding support of Scott AFB and their families.

In other exciting news, the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce officially welcomed PCs for People – a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization focused on getting low-cost computers and affordable broadband internet into the homes of low-income individuals – with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 9 for the Belleville location's grand opening. Through a first-of-its-kind collaboration by the State of Illinois, PCs for People and various community partners like the Leadership Council Education Committee, Illinois has launched a statewide network that will receive, refurbish and redistribute used computers to those in need. The recently opened retail/warehouse space in Belleville will be able to coordinate these computer donations in an effort to bridge the digital divide for underserved populations without internet access to help improve connectivity essential for remote learning, work from home, telemedicine and other requirements of everyday life.

Back in March, Madison County officials received terrific news that FEMA’s Region V Office in Chicago performed a compliance review on the Lower Wood River Levee System, East and West Fork Levee System and Upper Levee System that attained full accreditation for a 100-year-flood level. This accreditation means property flood insurance rates will not skyrocket, which will ultimately bring savings to local taxpayers and boost investment in the area. This is wonderful news for our region and economic development activities in the American Bottoms!

Last but not least, the Leadership Council's Economic Development team has several great speakers lined up for upcoming quarterly meetings for the ED Network, which is made up of over 80 leaders in economic growth in the Southwestern Illinois region and practitioners active in economic development roles. The Competitive Intelligence and Strategic Purpose of the ED Network is to provide economic expansion, retention training, tracking tools, address community/regional issues, build relationships through interaction among economic development professionals, promote professional growth and development through speakers and participation in activities, as well as enhance marketing communications to promote SWIL for ED attraction activities. Steve Zuber, BarberMurphy, SIOR, CCIM, Principal, and Eric Whitfield, Ameren Illinois, Manager of Economic Development are leading this effort and making great progress for our region! The next quarterly meeting is on May 18th. For information about the meeting, please contact the Leadership Council office at 618-692-9745.

Congratulations to Kaskaskia Engineering Group for being named a top workplace for women, and Webster University SAFB for being recognized as 'Best of Scott AFB' for higher education. icon Mechanical also received a top national safety excellence award and North Point also received a Building St. Louis Award, which is mentioned below. Well done! Please continue reading for more of these exciting stories and all of the other good news occurring in the region. As you will see from the articles below, the Spring construction season is well underway with extensive projects in SWIL! Congratulations to all of the firms and skills labor workforce building these projects! So good to see Spring 2021 arrive with so many projects occurring in SWIL!

Dr. Ronda Sauget
Ronda Sauget, D. Mgmt, MBA
Executive Director and CEO
Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois
104 Magnolia Drive, Ste B
Glen Carbon, IL 62034
Holland completes work on Keystone Place development in O’Fallon
(Illinois Business Journal, 4/8/2021)
Holland Construction Services has completed work on the new Keystone Place at Richland Creek Senior Living Development in O’Fallon, Ill. (Read More)

Region celebrates win of Air Mobility Command Community Support Award
(Illinois Business Journal, 4/9/2021)
Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois is basking in the region’s latest win of a top award for military support. (Read More)

Building St. Louis Awards 2021: Gateway TradePort Logistics Park delivers more opportunity for industrial market
(St. Louis Business Journal, 4/9/2021)
Kansas City-based developer NorthPoint secured 600 acres in Pontoon Beach, Illinois, for what’s slated to become a fully built-out, strategically located industrial park. (Read More)

IMPACT Strategies constructing Encompass Health rehab hospital
(Illinois Business Journal, 4/14/2021)
IMPACT Strategies is managing construction for Encompass Health of a 40-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Shiloh. (Read More)

Ameren Illinois continuing natural gas upgrades in Alton, Godfrey
(Advantage News, 4/12/2021)
Ameren Illinois customers in Alton and Godfrey will see energy at work firsthand throughout the spring and summer as crews replace vintage steel pipeline and natural gas services with modern, corrosion-resistant polyethylene material. (Read More)

Illinois electric vehicle jobs expected to climb in the next 3 years, report says
(St. Louis Business Journal, 4/15/2021)
Anchored by Rivian's electric truck manufacturing plant in Normal, the state of Illinois is poised to see the number of electric transportation jobs nearly double by 2024. (Read More)

LCCC program helps fill an immediate need for truck drivers
(Illinois Business Journal, April 2021 Issue, Page 2)
Of all the roadmaps to a reliable, well-paying career, Lewis and Clark Community College’s Truck Driver Training program could be described as an expressway of sorts.  (Read More)

Glik’s, other big projects help The Korte Company set a brisk pace
(Illinois Business Journal, April 2021 Issue, Page 12)
The Korte Company teamed up with Glik’s to design and construct a new 50,000-square-foot office. (Read More)

New 50 West Office Building will fill need, IMPACT Strategies says
(Illinois Business Journal, April 2021 Issue, Page 13)
IMPACT Strategies recently broke ground on the new 50 West Office Building in O’Fallon, Ill., a Class A office building located near the new St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. (Read More)
PCs for People help get computers in the homes of those who truly need them!

Distributes refurbished corporate computers updated to Windows 10, with very low-cost, unlimited internet access for students, underserved populations, elderly, and veterans.

They have connected over 450,000 people to internet and computing devices. The State of Illinois Office of Broadband has committed to facilitate the donation of 10,000 computers to PCs for People Metro East, but they have set a goal of sourcing a total of 25,000 computers in their first year in order to meet the significant need in our community, and they need our help to meet that goal.

PCs for People is NAID AAA certified to wipe clean all data off computers and recertify them for reuse

PC donations needed!!  

If you would like more information about how to donate computers, please contact the Leadership Council office at 618-692-9745 or
PCs for People Ribbon Cutting
Edwardsville finds growing niche in healthcare industry
(Illinois Business Journal, April 2021 Issue, Page 15)
It took more than 200 years for Edwardsville to become a healthcare hub, and most of that occurred in the last three. (Read More)

Communities thinking new approaches to development
(Illinois Business Journal, April 2021 Issue, Page 15)
Developers had a tough year, but they’re seeing light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel and perhaps some new direction for business incentives as well. (Read More)

It’s showtime in the City of Alton: Movie theater, more to add in 2021
(Illinois Business Journal, April 2021 Issue, Page 16)
As the nation emerges from the uncertainty and doldrums brought forth by COVID-19, the City of Alton is poised to continue the growth that preceded the global pandemic. (Read More)

Highland sees progress, development on multiple fronts
(Illinois Business Journal, April 2021 Issue, Page 16)
Development in the City of Highland has continued to progress despite all of the challenges and obstacles the past year has presented for the community of 10,000 residents. (Read More)

First National Bank of Waterloo buys another bank's branch to open in Swansea, its 14th location
(St. Louis Business Journal, 4/6/2021)
First National Bank of Waterloo is opening a branch in Swansea, its 14th in all. (Read More)

Kaskaskia Engineering Group named a top workplace for women
(Illinois Business Journal, 4/5/2021)
Belleville-based Kaskaskia Engineering Group, LLC was recognized by the Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis as a top place for women to work in the fourth annual “Women in the Workplace: Employment Scorecard.” (Read More)

Webster University Named 'Best of Scott Air Force Base' for Higher Education
(Webster University News, 4/5/2021)
Webster University received the “Best of Scott Air Force Base” award for higher education, it was announced this month. (Read More)

SWIC to host virtual job fair April 28
(Advantage News, 4/15/2021)
If you’re looking for a new job or just want to explore your employment possibilities, it’s time for you to attend the Southwestern Illinois College Virtual Spring Job Fair. Employers from a variety of career fields are expected to participate in the event. (Read More)

Paul Lauschke & Associates merges with Coldwell Banker Brown Realtors
(Illinois Business Journal, 4/2/2021)
Edwardsville-based Coldwell Banker Brown Realtors’ President, Gerry Schuetzenhofer, announced the company has completed an acquisition of Paul Lauschke & Associates, located at 117 W. Third St. in Alton. (Read More)

Illinois Student Assistance Commission highlights opportunities for financial education
(Advantage News, 4/12/2021)
The Illinois Student Assistance Commission is participating in the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's annual Money Smart Week (virtual this year) from April 10-17 by highlighting opportunities for financial education, providing free resources and tools to help students and families better manage finances, and encouraging students to complete a financial aid application. (Read More)

icon Mechanical earns top national safety excellence award
(Illinois Business Journal, 4/10/2021)
Granite City-based icon Mechanical, a design-build/design-assist mechanical contractor, has been awarded the 2020 MCAA/CNA Safety Excellence Award by the Mechanical Contractors Association of America and CNA insurance. It’s the national association’s top safety award for mechanical contractors.(Read More)

Professionals to offer series of small-business discussions
(Illinois Business Journal, April 2021 Issue, Page 1)
At a time when small businesses really could use a hand, a group of professionals is coming together to offer one in Southwestern Illinois. (Read More)

Great Rivers & Routes guide touts returning festivals, attractions
(Illinois Business Journal, 4/16/2021)
Outdoor adventures, foods, urban experiences and the return of long-anticipated regional festivals are all part of the Great Rivers & Routes Go Guide, a new travel experience publication highlighting spring and summer activities in Southwest Illinois. (Read More)
SIUE Sports Schedule - April 2021
*Please note for video, live stats, and additional game information, you may refer to
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