Regional educators, manufacturers talk job skills

Oct 7, 2013

More than 50 school and business officials from Central Illinois attended the annual Manufacturing Educator’s Day in Peoria.  Area manufacturers stressed the importance of graduating students with the skills to jump in the industry.  Lori Laredo is director of operations for East Peoria High School.  She says the school is keeping many vocational programs amid cutbacks in state funding:

Carp stakeholders push for Peoria processing plant

Sep 25, 2013

The Peoria area needs a facility to process carp from the Illinois River.  That's the message from government and fishing industry officials during a meeting to talk about the invasive fish.  The nearest processing facility is in Thomson, Illinois.  Area fisherman Orion Briney says having a local facility would boost his bottom line:

Alex Rusciano/Peoria Public Radio

A former school building on Peoria’s South Side is preparing to house a new kind of business incubator. Thrive Capital Partners is launching later this year out of the former Blaine-Sumner building. It’s also now connected to an international organization for business incubators. Peoria Public Radio’s Alex Rusciano reports the incubator’s other goal is to use local businesses to help revitalize struggling neighborhoods: 

United Way kicks-off 2013 campaign

Sep 6, 2013

The Heart of Illinois United Way kicked-off its annual fundraising campaign.  Hundreds of people turned out for the breakfast at the Peoria Civic Center. The event comes as United Way's partner agencies lost more than 12-million-dollars in state and federal cuts since 2011. Vicki Stewart and her husband Doug are this year's co-chairs for the fundraising effort.  Stewart says the area businesses and community groups raised more than $1 million-dollars for the pre-campaign:

MC Sports to open store in East Peoria

Sep 4, 2013

A MidWest-based sporting goods company is opening a store in East Peoria. MC Sports is opening a 22,000 square-foot store in the former Shopko building on Main Street. It’s the first business in that location since 2007 when Shopko closed.  The location sits next to East Peoria’s new downtown Levee District that includes CostCo and Target. MC Sports runs more than 70 stores in seven states throughout the MidWest.

Israeli Chamber of Commerce president visits Peoria

Aug 19, 2013

Israel wants to buy more products from the United States and fewer products from Europe.  That’s the message from members of the Israeli Chamber of Commerce during a stop at the Peoria chamber for a roundtable with local businesses.  Dan Carmely is with the Israeli Chamber.  He says Europe‘s gloomy economic outlook isn’t reliable enough:

District 150 and area businesses need to jointly-invest in programs to help students. That’s the message from author and economic futurist Rebecca Ryan. She spoke to more than 100 business people at Peoria City Hall. Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis says Ryan’s advice reminds all groups to make pro-active investments in programs that help students:

State economic index shows improvement

Aug 1, 2013

The rising Flash Index shows a continually improving economy in Illinois. But the University of Illinois economist who compiles the Index says the state has not seen a corresponding fall in unemployment.  Fred Giertz with the U of I’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs says that at 9.8 percent in June, the Illinois unemployment rate has fallen more than two percentage points since its peak in early 2010. But he says it should have fallen more.

OfficeMax asks state for tax breaks

Jun 19, 2013

OfficeMax is asking the state of Illinois for tax breaks to keep the company's headquarters in-state after the office supply chain's merger with Office Depot is complete.  State Senator Tom Cullerton made his pitch Tuesday during a hearing on the state's pension crisis. He was joined by OfficeMax CEO Ravi Saligram, who says the combined company could be located here or in Florida, where Office Depot is headquartered.

Quad Cities business at center of court battle

May 14, 2013

Can the state of Illinois grant a permanent property tax exemption to a private, for-profit business ? That's the question for a court battle getting started in the Quad Cities. IPR’s Herb Trix reports: 

Rick Perry aims to lure away IL businesses

Apr 22, 2013

The governor of Texas is messing with Illinois, or at least he's trying to. Rick Perry is in Chicago this week, in part to try to lure companies to relocate to Texas.  IPR’s Brian Mackey has more: 

Bustos bill would affect federal contractors

Apr 11, 2013

17th District Congresswoman Cheri Bustos introduced a bill that aims to boost American manufacturing jobs. The American Jobs Matter Act would allow businesses applying for federal contracts to include how their bids would create or retain American jobs.  Bustos says that would help keep more jobs in the US and help local businesses"