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December 21, 2018



The Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) will help Illinois decrease its dependence on fossil fuels and ensures a long-term plan with a 25% Renewable Portfolio Standard for the purchase of renewable energy resources by 2025. Currently, Illinois has approximately 84 MW of solar installations across the state. Through FEJA legislation, an additional 2,800 MW of new solar energy will be deployed by 2030. In preparation for this surge of development, many counties, communities, schools, and businesses are preparing for solar development. In anticipation of the Illinois Power Agency’s announcement on January 15, 2019, of the Approved Projects under FEJA’s Adjustable Block Program, the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) will host a Future Energy Jobs Act Solar Updates Seminar January 9 to discuss FEJA’s Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan, siting and land use issues, and resources available to support the development of new solar.



The American Community Survey data release features more than 40 social, economic, housing and demographic topics, including homeownership rates and costs, health insurance, and educational attainment. It is the only full data set available for the 2,316 counties with populations too small to produce a complete set of single-year ACS estimates. 



The Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs will host the 30th Annual Economic Development Conference "Making Rural an Exciting Place to Live," March 6-7, 2019, at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel, 701 E Adams Springfield, IL, in conjunction with the Governor's Rural Affairs Council and Rural Partners. This annual statewide conference is uniquely focused on improving the quality of life for small rural communities throughout the state, featuring approximately 20 speakers from Illinois and beyond, who will share their experience and expertise. The event will feature plenary and session speakers, as well as breakout sessions addressing strategies designed to teach your community not only to survive economic downturns, but also to thrive and prosper. Make your online room reservation , or call at 217-544-8800. To reserve your room at the conference rate, use the code "IIR." Program details and additional information will be available soon.



University of Illinois Extension’s Community and Economic Development team will host the state and federal legislative updates, Illinois State Legislative Update, on Thursday, January 17, 2019, at 12 PM CST with Kelly Murray and Taylor Anderson from Illinois Association of County Board Members (IACBM), and Federal Legislative Update on Thursday, January 24, 2019, at 12PM CST with Jack Peterson from National Association of Counties (NACo). Our experts will discuss recent and potential changes in legislation that will have a direct impact on Illinois local governments. With a Q&A session following the presentation, participants will have an opportunity to discuss impact and better understand mandated and expected actions.



Dec 14 - Jan 5 - Christmas Bird Count (National Audubon Society)

January 9 - Future Energy Jobs Act Solar Updates Seminar (ISTC)

January 17 (Webinar) - Illinois State Legislative Update

January 24 (Webinar) - Federal Legislative Update

February 15 - Governor's Volunteer Service Awards Nomination Deadline

March 6-7 (Springfield) - 30th Annual Economic Development Conference