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March 1, 2019



Over time, the job landscape tends to shift dramatically for almost any economy. The graph depicts the U.S. employment provided by each sector between 1850 and 2015. Agriculture’s share of U.S. employment was close to 60% in 1850, but today it represents just 3% of jobs. Manufacturing represented 26% of U.S. employment in 1960, but it is below 10% today. While these declines seem significant and fast, in recent years, China has seen an even more stunning change: between 1990-2015, a full 1/3 of China’s workforce moved out of the agricultural sector.



The Illinois ABLE program is a tax-advantaged investment program that provides persons with blindness or disabilities the option to save for disability-related expenses without putting their federal means tested benefits at risk. Illinois ABLE Is a member of the National ABLE Alliance, a partnership of 14 states representing over one quarter of the population of the United States. The goal of the National ABLE Alliance is to provide the most robust ABLE services possible at the lowest cost to account owners. To sign up for your ABLE account, visit the Illinois Save with ABLE website.



Today, because over 80% of public library funding is local (state and federal funding covers less than 10%), there are vast differences in library quality among different communities—with the poorest communities hit the hardest, often having to shutter branches, close early, or cut back on services to stay afloat. Where funding and support do exist, communities are reimagining what the library of the future looks like. From vegetative green roofs, to massive light-filled atriums, architects are transforming libraries into “empowering buildings” that become “strong beacons” for their communities. A healthy democracy demands an informed, engaged, and empowered public where all citizens freely have access to information, and a forum to explore and discuss ideas with a community of neighbors. Libraries are our institution dedicated to doing just that.



Developing a Creative Economy, Thursday, March 14 at Noon (CST), will share how community leaders can foster a culture that appreciates and supports the creative business endeavors of residents, including those living in low-resource households. Creative entrepreneurs include artists, designers, musicians, boutique retailers, specialty food producers, and other creative enterprises. The webinar will address how a community can support business development from local entrepreneurs as they create start-ups and informal grassroots, “micro-activities” that contribute to the local economy. Accessing new markets and distribution channels allows creative entrepreneurs to test their markets while providing a unique shopping experience for consumers, increased opportunities for local tourism, and revenue generation for both the business and the community.



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

March 14 (Webinar) - Developing a Creative Economy

March 21-22 - 2019 Emerging Contaminants in the Environment Conference

May 16 (Belleville) - Southern Illinois Volunteerism Conference

June 5 (Springfield) - Central Illinois Volunteerism Conference

July 14-17 (Columbia, MO) - Community Development Society Annual Conference

August 12-15 (Moline) - Midwest Community Development Institute