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February 23, 2018



Hundreds of counties in the U.S. are decreasing in population due to declining birth rates, increasing mortality rates among working-age adults, and an aging population. During 2010-16, 325 rural counties experienced sustained natural decrease for the first time, adding to 645 rural counties with natural decrease during 2000-09. Areas that recently began experiencing natural decrease (the dark blue areas) are found in New England, northern Michigan, and high-poverty areas in the southern Coastal Plains. Such counties also are found in and around the margins of Appalachia, expanding a large region of natural decrease extending from Maine through northern Alabama. Between 2000 and 2016, over a thousand rural counties still experienced population growth from natural increase (more births than deaths). This chart appears in the Amber Waves feature, "Rural Areas Show Overall Population Decline and Shifting Regional Patterns of Population Change."



WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) in Illinois

Presented by: Kevin Pierce, WIOA Service Representative, Local Workforce Area 23, Mattoon, IL

Noon-1PM, Thursday, March 1, 2018

On Thursday, March 1, 2018 at Noon, UI Extension’s Local Government Education program will host Kevin Pierce, from Local Workforce Area 23, for a free webinar on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and workforce development initiatives in Illinois.  Local officials and economic development professionals will learn about WIOA and how it applies to local areas in Illinois. The event is free and open to the public.

Mr. Pierce is currently the Business Services Representative for Local Workforce Area 23 and has held that position for the last 7 years.  He covers a 14 county service area and is employed by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) fiscal agent Lake Land College.  One major business sector of national and state attention is healthcare and the workforce needs going forward in that area.  Mr. Pierce brings with him a solid health care background with over 20 years of experience.  He has been involved in the managed care insurance arena, as well as hospital and clinic administration.  The focus has been on business and program development as well as marketing. Other career opportunities have led to experience in clinical operations as well as financial and project management. Register Here



The Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments worked with the USDA Forest Service to develop a guide for local decision makers to integrate trees into stormwater management design. Trees intercept rainfall and help increase infiltration and the ability of soil to store water. By retaining water in their canopy, even for a short time, trees can disperse precipitation over a longer time period and reduce velocity of the water when it does fall. includes a document builder, hundreds of case studies, videos, methods and best practices, benefit calculators and other tools on how adding trees can boost overall system performance, often at lower costs.



The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy released a guidebook, Pedestrians First: Tools for a Walkable City. The guidebook suggests that communities use the “walkability hierarchy of needs,” which begins with passable, accessible, and safe ways to walk, and works toward convenient, comfortable and enjoyable ways to walk. Features that meet the levels of the pyramid will vary depending on the person walking. For example, what is passable for an able-bodied person may not be passable for someone in a wheelchair. The pyramid details the key requirements for a walkable environment and ranks them in order of importance.



March 1, 2018 (Webinar) - WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act)

March 7-8, 2018 - IIRA Rural Community Economic Development Conference

March 7, 2018 - Rural Partners Annual Meeting, 12:30 - 1:00 p.m., Lincoln Room of the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel, Springfield

April 12, 2018 (Webinar) - International Trade and Small Business Development in Illinois

June 27, 2018 - Central Illinois Volunteerism Conference