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April 20, 2018



Over the past five years, students and faculty at Illinois universities have founded 942 startups with the support of university technology licensing, entrepreneurship programs and competitions, and other university initiatives. Illinois universities have long been drivers of economic development and innovation, bolstering the state’s talent pipeline and conducting nearly $2.4 billion in academic research & development activity each year. Over the last decade, Illinois’ universities have also increased their efforts to ensure that innovations made possible by university research are able to reach the commercial marketplace. By doing so, universities drive direct economic impact through innovation and job creation. Among active startups founded over the past five years, 81.3% (566 startups) remain in Illinois, a credit to the pipeline that has developed between universities and the state’s greater entrepreneurial ecosystem.



Open Meetings Act (OMA)

Presented by: Christopher Boggs, Assistant Attorney General, Illinois Attorney General’s Office

Noon-1PM, Thursday, May 3, 2018

University of Illinois Extension Community and Economic Development will air a live webinar on the Open Meetings Act on May 3, 2018, from Noon – 1:00 p.m. Christopher Boggs, from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, will highlight the training and tools required to implement this policy at the local level, and avoid violations.

Christopher Boggs, Assistant Attorney General with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office in the Public Access Bureau, assists the Public Access Counselor in resolving Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Open Meetings Act (OMA) violations and provides educational training to state and local Illinois government entities.  Prior to joining the Attorney General’s office, Boggs served as a Post-Doctoral Legal Fellow in the Office of University Counsel for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and clerked for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s Office of Special Counsel, The Honorable Joe Billy McDade of the Central District of Illinois, and United States Senator Barack Obama.  Boggs received his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, and Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

There is no cost to attend the webinar; however, REGISTRATION required. Register online or contact Nancy Ouedraogo at more information.



The U.S. Small Business Administration and SCORE Association will host a free, 3-Day Virtual Conference during National Small Business Week. The conference will take place Tuesday, May 1 – Thursday, May 3 between 12:30 pm ET - 6:30 pm ET each day. Registration is free to the public. A schedule of live events will be sent to registrants via email. Participate in this free, online conference to listen to practiced advice on current business strategies, meet other business owners, and chat with industry experts! The Virtual Conference offers all the best parts of an in-person conference, but without the hassle of traveling.



Illinois 4-H members and volunteers are dedicating energy, time, and money to  where they live. On April 4, Illinois 4-H passed a major milestone, providing more than one million meals to families as part of the 4-H Feeding & Growing Our Communities initiative. The efforts began in November 2013, said Bill Million, University of Illinois Extension 4-H youth development specialist. 4-H members evaluate the hunger issues in their local communities and develop strategies to meet the challenges. One of those strategies has been sponsorship of meal-packaging events. Illinois 4-H works with Illini Fighting Hunger, a U of I student group operated out of Wesley Foundation in Urbana. “4-H club members purchase bulk ingredients, then measure to fill family-size packages of the soy-based casserole meals,” Million said. “The meals are distributed to local food pantries and service organizations to be distributed to families in need.” The ingredients cost about 14 cents per meal, and 4-H clubs hosting a meal-packaging event must raise funds to cover the cost of the meals they package. Up to $750 is provided to groups by the Illinois 4-H Foundation.




May 3, 2018 (Webinar) - Open Meetings Act

June 14, 2018 (Webinar) - Age-Friendly Communities and Senior Bullying

June 27, 2018 - Central Illinois Volunteerism Conference