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July 13, 2018



Opportunity Zones

Presented by Kenan Fikri, Director of Research at Economic Innovation Group Wednesday, July 25, 2018 | 10-11AM

Join us for a free Local Government Education webinar, Opportunity Zones on Wednesday, July 25, 2018, from 10AM – 11AM CST. Co-hosts for the online event include the Southeastern Alliance of Illinois and the Richland County Development Corporation. The Opportunity Zones program is a new economic development initiative established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017.  This widely-supported program encourages long-term investment and job creation in low-income urban and rural communities, by allowing investors to re-invest unrealized capital gains in designated Opportunity Zones. 

Opportunity Zones will cover an overview of the program, explaining what it is and what it is not, how the program works, and what Opportunity Funds are allowed to invest in. REGISTER HERE



According to the Pew Research Center, the share of teens working summer jobs has tumbled since 2000: Despite some recovery since the end of the Great Recession, about a third of teens (35%) had a job last summer. Teen summer employment fell sharply after the 2001 recession, and even more sharply during and after the 2007-09 Great Recession. Only about 30% of teens had jobs in the summers of 2010 and 2011. Since then, the teen summer employment rate has edged higher, reaching 35% last summer, but is still below pre-recession levels.

Younger teens – 16- and 17-year-olds – always have been less likely to work in the summer than their older peers. In percentage terms, however, employment for younger teens has increased more than for older ones. Last year’s summer employment rate for 16- and 17-year-olds was 25%, up from 18.5% in 2010. For 18- and 19-year-olds, the summer employment rate last year was 46.4%, compared with 41.6% in 2010. As of May 2018, 29.7% of 16- to 19-year-olds, or 4.97 million, were employed (before adjusting for seasonal variations), suggesting that the modest upward trend that began in 2012 holds. An estimated 737,000 were unemployed, meaning they were available and actively searching for work but had not yet found any; the unemployment rate among 16- to 19-year-olds was 12.9%, not much different from the 12.6% rate recorded in May 2000.



This summer, a team from the National Trust for Historic Preservation is travelling Route 66. The purpose is to document the iconic road and to advocate for Route 66 to become a National Historic Trail. The current initiative to keep the route in safe hands—the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program—will sunset in 2019, but a National Historic Trail Designation will bring public interest and investment to the communities along the historic highway and encourage economic revitalization. The National Trust team of roadies, who are experiencing Route 66 in real time, as well as stories about the route’s layered history, will share information through a weekly email. You can receive weekly Route 66-themed messages throughout the summer.



Central Illinois is home to some of the hippest markets, trendiest farm-to-table restaurants and microbreweries, and loveliest orchards and u-pick farms in the whole Midwest! Check out Buy Fresh Buy Local Farmers Markets, offering everything from Chopped chef competitions, to on-site yoga classes, to live music, unique veggies, and out-of-this world food truck eats. Illinois markets have everything you need to brighten up your weekend (or week night!). Pick a market and download the new Buy Fresh Buy Local guide to find out what other food and farm locations are nearby. From the Illinois Stewardship Alliance.




July 22-25, 2018 - Community Development Society Annual Conference

July 25, 2018 - Opportunity Zones

August 6-9, 2018 - Midwest Community Development Institute

August 8-9, 2018 - IRHA (Illinois Rural Health Association) 29th Annual Educational Conference