September 30, 2019
A series of multi-million-dollar projects planned or underway in communities throughout the Metro East have been making news in recent weeks. Among the largest featured in this edition of Good NewsLink is a $50 million, mixed-use facility that is on track to be completed in Edwardsville for the spring. Trace on the Parkway will feature a combination of apartments and retail outlets in multiple buildings on the former site of Madison Mutual Insurance Co., along Illinois Route 157 at Governors’ Parkway, offering residents an enhanced, all-inclusive living experience.

In other development news, Donco Electrical Construction is adding a new 21,500-square-foot maintenance and office facility to its Edwardsville campus. The technology and utility solutions provider is one of the fastest growing companies in the St. Louis area, employing more than 300 people across its five business units. The new facility – being built by Contegra Construction Co. – will serve Donco's fleet of more than 200 vehicles and equipment to help the company save money, as well as improve efficiency and reduce down-time.

Earlier last month, Gov. J. B. Pritzker signed HB 1652 (now public act 101-0240), enabling expedited license reciprocity for active-duty military service members, to include members of the U.S. Coast Guard, Guardsmen, Reservists, and military spouses. The legislation helps military members and spouses serving at Illinois bases to obtain reciprocity for their professional licenses to start work faster in Illinois, which is an achievement envied by many states and especially a big win for individuals at Scott Air Force Base.

You’ll find more details on these stories and various others below as we continue to round up and share all the good news occurring in our region.

Have a great week!

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
On August 2, 2019 a discussion took place at the Leadership Council Board meeting with over 100+ local business leaders regarding the Capitol Bill with Sen Christopher Belt, Sen Rachelle Crow, Sen Paul Schimpf, Rep Jay Hoffman, Rep LaToya Greenwood, Rep Monica Bristow, and Rep Charlie Meier. Also at the meeting each Senator and Representative was presented a certificate of recognition for their work with military and their families.
$50 million development on track in Edwardsville
(Illinois Business Journal, September 2019 Issue, Page 1)
One of the largest mixed-use communities in the Metro East is on track for residential occupancy in the spring. (Read More)

Legislation provides license reciprocity for service members, spouses
(Advantage News, 9/5/2019)
Southwestern Illinois legislators rallied statewide to unanimously pass HB 1652, enabling expedited license reciprocity for active-duty military service members, to include members of the U.S. Coast Guard, Guardsmen, Reservists, and military spouses. (Read More) 

SIUE experiences $9M of growth and renovation: Improvements impact traffic, sports, safety and more
(The Intelligencer, 09/17/2019)
When students came to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville this fall, they discovered enhancements and renovations to a campus, already known for its attractiveness. SIUE’s campus growth this year totaled approximately $9 million, according to Vice Chancellor for Administration Rich Walker. (Read More)

As business heats up, Donco plots new facility 
(St. Louis Business Journal, 08/27/2019)
Donco Electrical Construction is adding a new 21,500-square-foot maintenance and office facility to its Edwardsville campus.The new facility, being built by Contegra Construction Co., will serve Donco's fleet of more than 200 vehicles and equipment to help the company save money as well as improve efficiency and reduce down time. About 3,000 square feet will be devoted to office space and storage. (Read More)

Madison County to get assistance for rebuilding flood-damaged infrastructure
(Advantage News, 09/05/2019)
U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R-Illinois) on Thursday announced a Federal Highway Administration Emergency Relief Program grant of $4 million for the Illinois Department of Transportation.  (Read More)

Jobs report shows growth in all state metros, a first since 2000
(Illinois Business Journal, September 2019 Issue, Page 21)
Illinois’ officials reported job growth across all fourteen state’s metropolitan areas last month compared to a year ago, the first time that has happened since 2000.  (Read More)

America’s Central Port Wins Marketing Award for Foreign Trade Zone 31 Explainer Video
(America’s Central Port, 9/13/2019)
Recognized by the official National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones (NAFTZ), Ms. Robbie Williams, Foreign Trade Zone 31 Grantee Administrator, was presented the 2019 Catherine Durda Marketing Award for producing a fun and informative explainer video of the benefits of Foreign Trade Zone 31. (Read More)

Corps Innovation Extended Open Days for Kaskaskia Lock
(Waterway Journal, 09/02/2019)
While the record flooding in 2019 disrupted barge traffic throughout the inland waterways in the Midwest this spring and summer, some out-of-the-box thinking from the Corps of Engineers helped limit the number of days that the Jerry F. Costello Lock and Dam was forced to close, keeping commerce flowing on the Kaskaskia River in southern Illinois for several additional days during the persistent high water. (Read More)

Illinois Air National Guard opens new operations building
(Illinois Business Journal, 08/05/2019)
The Illinois Air National Guard building will house the 108th Air Refueling Squadron, the 906th Air Refueling Squadron as an active association unit, the 126th Operations Support Squadron, the Plans and Programs office, and the Command Post. (Read More)
The Leadership Council's Building Workforce 2030 program spoke to around 500 individuals on August 13, 2019 at the Granite City, IL Freshman Orientation.
Alton to build $250K splash pad overlooking the Mississippi River after scoring grant
(The Telegraph, 09/18/2019)
The National Recreation and Park Association has announced that Alton Parks and Recreation will receive a $250,000 grant for “water play experience” in the city. According to an NRPA release, Alton plans to create a “recirculation” splash pad overlooking the Mississippi River that will allow residents to enjoy water in a natural setting.  (Read More)

SIUE nursing grant to bolster care in rural, underserved communities
(St. Louis Business Journal, 08/13/2019)
Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville’s School of Nursing has received a four-year, $2.75 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration for the school’s Advanced Nursing Education Workforce program. (Read More)

Mike McCarthy: New state funding boosts Illinois as a leader in freight movement
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 08/20/2019)
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s recent announcement of state funding for several significant infrastructure projects in the Metro East is exciting news for our entire region. The nearly $450 million in funding will advance a variety of projects that will enhance our region’s freight network and support the extension of the MetroLink light rail system in St. Clair County. (Read More)

Cahokia Mounds’ national park efforts pick up in Congress
(Illinois Business Journal, September 2019 Issue, Page 8)
Years-long efforts to get Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site declared a part of the national park system seem closer to the goal than ever for supporters. (Read More)

Illinois gambling expansion poised to revive Fairmount Track
(Belleville News Democrat, 08/20/2019)
A recent gambling-expansion law in Illinois could change the track’s fortunes. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the bill in June, which was long-sought by the horse racing industry. Racetracks can now apply for licenses to host table games like blackjack and roulette, slots, video gaming and sports betting. (Read More)

Employees say workplaces are the best in Southwestern Illinois
(Illinois Business Journal, September 2019 Issue, Page 2)
Ask employees what makes up a “best workplace,” and they will tell you: happy workers.What makes them happy varies from place to place. For three winners of the Illinois Business Journal ‘s first Best Workplaces in Southwestern Illinois, a common them is respect. (Read More)

Courses offered at the National Defense Transportation Association-U.S. Transportation Command Fall Meeting to address various defense logistics topics and trends
(, 09/04/2019)
Approximately 80 classes, discussing a broad range of defense logistics subjects, will be held at Transportation Academy during the National Defense Transportation Association-U.S. Transportation Command Fall Meeting, Oct. 7 to 10, 2019, Union Station, St. Louis, Missouri. (Read More)

Illinois, Missouri DOTs win regional transportation award
(Illinois Business Journal, 09/12/2019)
A bi-state partnership aimed at improving access and mobility throughout the Metro East has garnered top honors for the departments of transportation in Illinois and Missouri. (Read More)

Panel OKs enterprise zone growth
(The Alton Telegraph, 08/14/2019)
A resolution to expand one of Madison County’s four enterprise zones, Riverbend, was approved this week by the county board’s Grants Committee. It now goes to the full county board for approval on Wednesday. (Read More)

Illinois awarded $37 million for opioid epidemic
(Advantage News, 09/04/2019)
U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois) on Wednesday announced the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded Illinois a total of $37,906,897 through the State Opioid Response Grant Program and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Overdose Data to Action Funding Program. (Read More)

Historical Society eyes 2021 reopening as $3M project nears end
(The Telegraph, 09/08/2019)
The $3 million project on the Weir family home is on track, according to representatives of the Madison County Historical Society (MCHS) on North Main Street.. (Read More)

Madison County roads part of $4M grant
(The Intelligencer, 09/05/2019)
Madison County roads will share in $4 million of Federal Highway Administration Emergency Relief Program grant funding announced Thursday by U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro. The grant will be used to help repair roads and bridges damaged by flooding in Madison, St. Clair, Alexander, Jackson, Madison, Randolph and Union counties. (Read More)

SIUE Greenhouse getting $2.5M renovation project
(The Telegraph, 09/13/2019)
 A $2.5 million renovation is planned for the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Greenhouse. Trustees on Thursday approved a $2,550,856 budget for the renovation and expansion project, which will include adding a 1,500-square-foot wing plus a new 600-square-foot head house that serves as a workspace and control center. (Read More)

Bigger is better: Large spaces propel St. Louis industrial market
(RE Journals, 8/23/2019)
.A new report from the St. Louis Regional Freightway, a bi-state development enterprise, says that since 2014 more than 18 million square feet of industrial space has been built or is under construction in the St. Louis region. More than 50 percent of this space is made up of bulk distribution buildings of 250,000 square feet or more. (Read More)

Strubhart Elaborates on $200,000 Bike Trails Grant to Godfrey
(Riverbender, 08/14/2019)
Village of Godfrey Parks and Recreation Director Todd Strubhart today elaborated more on Gov. J.B. Pritzker's announcement that Godfrey will receive $200,000 of $2.6 million in IDNR Bike Path Grants. (Read More)

Alton cruising with five-year agreement for Mississippi ships
(Illinois Business Journal, 08/19/2019)
The city of Alton has approved a five-year agreement with American Cruise Lines to allow its Mississippi River passenger cruise ships to have priority docking for turnarounds on the Alton riverfront starting in 2020. (Read More)

Contegra Construction Co. Building EXO Lounge and Nail Bar in Edwardsville, Ill.
(Saint Louis Construction News & Review, 09/05/2019)
The EXO Lounge and Nail Bar is coming to Edwardsville, Ill. Billed as a sexy, vibrant and inspiring place to relax, the first-of-its kind venue unites an elegant cocktail lounge with manicure, pedicure and other restorative services in space that is carefully designed for the senses. (Read More)

From QVC to the Oscars, cellphone purse rings success for Metro East businesswoman
(Illinois Business Journal, 08/16/2019)
It’s been quite a two-year stretch for Tami Lange. The Belleville businesswoman enjoyed a trip to Hollywood, a product promotion on QVC, and more than a million dollars in sales of a specialty purse that was borne of inspiration. (Read More)

SIUE earns sixth consecutive Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award
(Advantage News, 9/18/2019)
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has received the 2019 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. SIUE joins a select group of 35 institutions that have earned the distinction for six consecutive years. (Read More)

United Way sets $76.25 million goal for 2019 campaign
(Advantage News, 09/05/2019)
United Way of Greater St. Louis on Thursday announced a 2019 annual campaign goal of $76.25 million. Campaign co-chairs Tim Wentworth, president of Express Scripts and Cigna Health Services; and Greg Smith, chairman of Husch Blackwell, made the announcement. (Read More)

SIUE secures $100,000 EPA award to improve water quality
(Advantage News, 09/18/2019)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Southern Illinois University Edwardsville a $100,000 environmental education grant. The funding will support SIUE in its efforts to increase public knowledge regarding three critical clean water issues: regulated pollutants, emerging pollutants and biological contamination. (Read More)

SIUE School of Nursing DNP program No. 6 nationally
(The Intelligencer, 09/24/2019)
The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice Program has been ranked sixth nationally by, a nursing advocacy organization. For the complete list, visit (Read More)
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