Purple corn is more than tasty and eye-catching. Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a game-changing element of purple corn – it may help reduce the risk of major health diseases. While developing new types of purple corn, the researchers found some with elevated levels of a naturally occurring chemical that may fight obesity, inflammation, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer. They also found that the outer layer of kernels might be used as natural food coloring. USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture is supporting this research with funds through the Hatch Act. Hatch funds support agricultural research to solve problems that concern more than one state. The research team, led by food science professor Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia and crop sciences professor John Juvik, created 20 varieties of the Apache Red maize strain, each with a different amount and type of anthocyanins, the element that gives the maize its distinct color. Studies have shown that eating anthocyanin-rich foods may reduce the risk of disease.
The S.I.Works Employer-Driven Solutions Committee is hosting an event September 24 at the Benton Civic Center. Workforce, education and economic development folks are invited to come together with area business leaders to share ideas and best practices for overcoming barriers to creating a robust regional workforce. We need solutions now regarding how to best approach development and/or training of individuals for specific jobs in local industries. We will explore strategies that cover everything from soft skills (work ethic, attitude, getting to work on time) to basic skills (literacy, numeracy) to specific job skills targeted at the manufacturing and healthcare industries. We hope you will help in identifying and implementing innovative practices that will build a workforce to meet the needs of our region’s business and industry now and into the future. Register at http://si.works/conference
Since 1949, the National Civic League (NCL) has designated 10 communities each year as All-America Cities for their outstanding civic accomplishments. NCL is now accepting applications for the 2020 All-America City Award, focused on enhancing health and well-being through civic engagement. This year’s theme is community-driven projects that reflect the concept that good health for the entire community requires a focus on mental, physical, spiritual, cultural and economic well-being. Municipalities wishing to apply have until November 1, 2019, to submit a Letter of Intent and until February 19, 2020, to submit their application. Unlike any other event, the All-America City Experience provides participants with lasting connections with community members and peers across the country, in-depth learning opportunities, and fun, energizing events.
On September 26 at Noon CST, the University of Illinois Extension Local Government Education webinar will feature Steven Groner, Community and Economic Development Educator, who will share insights and suggestions gained from advising small businesses in Handing Off Your Business: The Future of Your Business Without You. He will address succession planning in response to what has been termed “the silver tsunami” or the rapidly growing number of businesses with leaders approaching retirement. Steven focuses on good planning practices, the need to get succession strategies underway, and ways to alleviate some of the complexity and stress of planning and transition.