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September 14, 2018



The 2020 Census is over a year in the future, but there is already concern about getting accurate and complete counts. In addition to record keeping and congressional representation, a share of $800 billion in federal funding hinges on results of the census, making it crucial for states, counties, and municipalities to help ensure an accurate count of residents. Trust in the process will be a challenge, especially for those groups which have historically been undercounted. The Census Bureau says that responses are confidential and don’t leave the bureau, but many residents are distrustful of the process. At state, county, and municipal levels, there are financial and political pressures to ensure an accurate count.



The 21st annual Beloit College Mindest List gives a view of the differences in moments in history and culture between the incoming Class of 2020, who were mostly born in the year 2000, and their older teachers. For example, the iconic figures never alive in the students' lifetime include comedian Victor Borge, cartoonist Charles Schulz and the original Obi-Wan Kenobi actor Alec Guinness. The Mindset List is created by Ron Nief, director emeritus of Beloit College Public Affairs; Tom McBride, professor emeritus of English; and Charles Westerberg, Brannon-Ballard professor of sociology. "Students come to college with particular assumptions based on the horizons of their lived experience," McBride said. "All teachers need to monitor their references, while students need to appreciate that without a sound education they will never get beyond the cave of their own limited personal experiences."



Nearly a third of young adults in a recent study were found to be “financially precarious” because they had poor financial literacy and lacked money management skills and income stability. Only 22% of the 18- to 24-year-olds in the study sample were deemed to be financially stable, according to lead author Gaurav Sinha, a graduate student in social work at the University of Illinois. These individuals were better at planning and managing their finances, had checking or savings accounts in mainstream banks and were less likely to use costly alternative financial services such as payday lenders. They also were more likely to be white males who were employed and college educated, according to the study. To address issues of financial literacy, University of Illinois Extension provides Money Mentors, a network of trained volunteers who work one-on-one with individuals who request help with personal money management.



University of Illinois Extension Community and Economic Development will air a live webinar on Municipal Approaches to Solar Energy (Part II), on Thursday at Noon (CST) on September 27th. Rick Swan (Fond du Lac Township Supervisor and Executive Director of the East Peoria Chamber of Commerce) will discuss his experiences in solar farm implementation and leading a community-supported solar panel installation. REGISTER HERE



September 27 (Webinar) - Municipal Approaches to Solar Energy (Part II)

September 30 (USDA Funding Deadline) - Rural Energy Savings Program

October 11 (SEDAC) - Energy Code Workshop