January 15, 2013

Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis will deliver his annual State of the City Address on Tuesday January 29th at 11:45AM at the Peoria Civic Center Ballroom.  He will recap 2012 and shares his visions for

December 11, 2012

Peoria NEXT continues to support technology and innovation in Greater Peoria by awarding VirtuSense Technologies (VST) $50,000 through its research grant program.  According to Peoria NEXT CEO Grant Brewen, “This grant supports innovation and the implementation of commercialization in the areas of life science, physical science, material science, and engineering science.  VST was chosen based on the company’s inter-institutional collaboration, scientific/technical merit, commercialization potential, and future access to funding.”  Funds for this Grant Program were obtained through donations to Peoria NEXT.  




December 11, 2012

Peoria, Illinois might not be one of the first places you’d think of as a high-tech center nationally, but a new study released by Engine Advocacy -- “Technology Works” shows Peoria is the #3 metropolitan area in the nation in the “Top 25 Metros for High-Tech Employment Growth from 2010-2011.”

December 3, 2012

Earlier this year, Milken Institute released new report measuring “Best Cities for Successful Aging.”  Of the 300 small metros in the US, Peoria ranks in the middle at the 149th best place for successful aging.  Greater Peoria has an aging population with 65% of the MSA’s residents being over the age of 65.  When the Milken Institute research is broken down further you find that Peoria MSA ranks 151 for 65-79 age group and 160 for the 80+ age group.  The Best Cities for Successful Aging is a comprehensive index that generates a composite ranking for each metro area.  The composite ranking is based on eight subcomponents: general indicators, health care, wellness, living arrangements, transportation & convenience, financial well-being, employment & education, and community engagement.  When looking specifically at the eight subcomponents it’s no surprise that the region’s best ranking was in the healthcare category.  Healthcare is considered one of the strongest and fastest growing industries in the region.  Greater Peoria ranked high in access to doctors, nurses and overall hospital services. 

Read more here


November 26, 2012

October local unemployment rates fell in every IL metro area compared to last year and were at their lowest levels for the month since 2008, according to preliminary data released last week by the

October 25, 2012

If you think manufacturing in Central Illinois is a dirty, unsohpidticated, dead-end job...THINK AGAIN!  Watch this video to see what the newest generation of manufacturing workers in Central Illinois have to say about their jobs and one of the top industries of the Greater Peoria Region.  Click here to watch video.







October 25, 2012

The not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the Peoria MSA dropped to 7.5 percent in September 2012 from 8.7 percent last September. The last time the September rate was equal to or lower was in 2008 when it was 5.6 percent. This was the 28th consecutive month the rate has been equal to or below the year-ago level.  Over the year, non-farm payroll employment in the Peoria MSA increased by +1,300. The largest gains occurred in Manufacturing (+1,500) and Leisure-Hospitality (+500). This is according to preliminary data released by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). 

Here is a breakdown of unemployment rates for MSA’s across Illinois, a specific look at Greater Peoria counties and cities as well as an overview of the Peoria MSA’s monthly trend.  This monthly analysis is provided by the EDC for Central Illinois.   






October 24, 2012

More than 1100 students from more than 30 area high schools discovered manufacturing today at the 4th annual Discover Manufacturing Career Expo hosted by the Economic Development Council for Central Illinois’ Specialized Manufacturing Strategy Group.  The students toured regional manufacturing companies this morning and then attended a mini-trade expo at the Peoria Civic Center to learn more about the regional manufacturing industry.

The EDC’s Specialized Manufacturing Strategy Group is made up of representatives from local manufacturing companies, educational institutions and business resource organizations who began this event as a way to address the skilled worker shortage in Greater Peoria and remove the negative stereotypes of a career in manufacturing.  The EDC’s Sally Hanley said the Discover Manufacturing Career Expo allows students to see firsthand what the jobs in this industry are like.  “It helps us to break down the stereotype that manufacturing jobs are dead-end, dirty and unsophisticated.  We are showing them what a great career they could find in the manufacturing industry.”




October 4, 2012

You're invited to participate in a career fair event for 103 skilled workers from ThyssenKrupp Manufacturing. ThyssenKrupp Manufacturing is closing its Roanoke, Illinois facility in November 2012. The 103 affected employees include 84 skilled manufacturing workers.

Workforce Network is organizing an onsite career fair event to help area employers recruit these highly skilled workers. The event will be held in late October at ThyssenKrupp, at 509 W. Front Street in Roanoke.

The exact date and time of the event will be set to accommodate the participating employers. To participate, please contact David Vaughn at 309-495-8942 or dvaughn@workforcenetwork.com.

October 4, 2012

The Heartland Partnership interim CEO Cal MacKay, Award sponsor & Commerce Bank President Brent Eichelberger,,and Tazewell County Board Chairman David Zimmerman present Excel Foundry & Machine CEO, Doug Parsons, with the EDC's 2012 Growth & Innovation Award.