JREDC Recognizing National Economic Development Week

By Jeremy Coumbes on May 8, 2023 at 3:41pm

This week is National Economic Development Week and an area organization is taking time to mark the week.

Created in 2016 by International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the largest international professional trade association for economic developers, Economic Development Week aims to increase awareness for local programs aimed at creating jobs and improving the quality of life in their communities.

Kristin Jameson, President of the Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation says JREDC continues to strive to accomplish these goals in a two-county area.

We are here to help create and attract businesses, especially commercial industry, to the region. We represent both Morgan and Scott Counties officially, but we recognize that any sort of development to this region really does strengthen all of us. So we’re always looking to help expand the business but also retain the businesses that are here currently.

We’ve been working the last few years a lot on workforce development. As everyone knows in the area, finding the right talent to fill the position they have available can be tricky so we want to be helpful in any way we can because we want to keep those businesses thriving in the Jacksonville region.”

Jamison says JREDC not only works to attract business and industry into the area but also works to help support those that are already here. She says they have been working with the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce to help establish a pipeline for workers in support of area manufacturing

Our manufacturers in the Jacksonville region are some of our largest employers and really do have attractive work packages there as far as their compensation and employee healthcare benefits, etc. We want to make sure they are able to continue to be successful.

So one pipeline in particular we’ve worked on has been with Reynolds Consumer Products and that involves the Jacksonville School District in the opportunity for students to work through an existing CVE program and go to Reynolds every day and work, and acquire the high school credits while doing so, while also getting paid for their efforts by Reynolds.”

Jamison says the collaboration is a win-win for the student as well as for Reynolds. JREDC has also been an integral part of helping the former MacMurray campus properties into the Regional Enterprise Zone.

JREDC has also helped facilitate more than $3 million in local, state, and federal grants to small businesses in the area through its designation as a Community Navigator.

Jamison says in most cases, their efforts cannot be shared with the public until a project has come to fruition, but it is important for the residents in Morgan and Scott counties to know the JREDC is intently working to strengthen these communities.

Currently, Jamison is working alongside Jacksonville Area Chamber President Lisa Musch to help area businesses apply for the latest round of Back 2 Business grants, and reminds those working to apply must have their application submitted by this Thursday, May 11th.

To find out more information on the Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation, log on to jredc.org, or call 217-479-4627.