Regional economic development effort reaches one year mark

Jul 30, 2013

The region's new economic development effort unveiled its five-year strategy.  Peoria Public Radio's Alex Rusciano reports it’s been a year since Focus Forward C.I. started goal setting: 

 The goals include attracting more young professionals, and boosting the number of college degrees and highly-skilled jobs in the region through 2018. The FFCI effort lists using a regional workforce alliance, leadership institute and business databases to help in part meet the goals.  Part of the FFCI effort also saw the Heartland Partnership and Economic Development Council dissolve. Jim Baumgartner chairs the FFCI steering committee. He says the new strategy is more efficient compared to the old groups:

 “I think most people would tell you in the past that they weren't aware of any goals to measure whether you were making progress or not, the transparency was largely a function of the complexity of the old organization.  This one’s going to be pretty simple,” Baumgartner says.

 The regional effort also saw a call from public officials for more transparency regarding open meetings and bylaws for the new EDC.