February 18, 2019

The past few weeks have been a period of great excitement for the Metro East and we’re delighted to share with you all the positive news spread throughout this lengthy edition of Good NewsLink. 

A work-ready labor force with the skills required by 21st century commerce and industry is the goal of the Leadership Council’ growing Building Workforce 2030 program. Leadership Council, along with its regional strategic partners, such as Southern Illinois Builders Association, initially designed the campaign to connect employers with students, teachers, parents and guidance counselors and other influencers to promote STEM education. The effort continues to grow to accommodate the business needs and careers in demand in Southwestern Illinois.

Congratulations to all who participate in this important effort!
NorthPoint Development is planning its fourth industrial project in the St. Louis area, this time bringing an industrial park to the Metro East that will comprise nearly 7 million square feet across 600 acres at interstates 255 and 270 in Pontoon Beach. In just a few weeks, construction is set to begin on the first building, a 540,000-square-foot spec facility called Gateway TradePort I.

There's also been significant coverage of other major infrastructure developments, healthcare expansions, job creation efforts and activities in various other sectors. Continue reading on for more and have a great week!

Dr. Ronda Sauget
Ronda Sauget, D. Mgmt, MBA
Executive Director and CEO
Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois
104 Magnolia Drive, Ste B
Glen Carbon, IL 62034
General Stephen R. Lyons, Commander, U.S. Transportation Command, his wife Maureen, and General Maryanne Miller, Commander, Air Mobility Command, were welcomed to the community during a reception  held February 7 th at the St. Clair County Country Club in Belleville, Illinois.
The reception was hosted by the Belle Scott Committee, Civic Progress, Regional Business Council, Southern Illinois Builders Association & Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program, St. Louis Regional Chamber and the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois. Approximately 125 people attended the event to demonstrate their appreciation to General Lyons, his wife Maureen, and General Miller for their continued dedication and service to the surrounding community.  
Developer plots another industrial park, this time in Metro East
(St. Louis Business Journal, 2/4/2019)
NorthPoint Development is planning its fourth industrial project in the St. Louis area, this time in the Metro East. Gateway TradePort will comprise nearly 7 million square feet across 600 acres at interstates 255 and 270 in Pontoon Beach. The location is just south of Gateway Commerce Center, an industrial park by competing developer TriStar Properties. (Read More)

Leadership Council expands STEM, rebrands efforts to Building Workforce 2030
(Illinois Business Journal, February 2019 Issue)
Four years ago, a collaborative effort called the Manufacture Your Future/Craft Your Future campaign was launched and coordinated by the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois along with its regional strategic partners, such as Southern Illinois Builders Association, designed to connect employers with students, teachers, parents and guidance counselors and other influencers to promote STEM education. (Read More) 

Ameren Illinois supports STEM education to develop tomorrow’s utility workforce
(Illinois Business Journal, February 2019 Issue)
The impact of the Baby Boom generation continues to rumble through American society. Richard Mark, chairman and president of Ameren Illinois, indicates that roughly 40 percent of his nearly 3,000 workers will be eligible for retirement over the next five years. And that’s on the heels of more than 500 associates who’ve retired from the energy company within the last five years.  (Read More)

Training essential to safe, skilled, productive workforce of Carpenters union
(Illinois Business Journal, February 2019 Issue) 
The Great Recession hit the carpenters union hard, according to Al Bond, Jr., executive secretary-treasurer of the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council headquartered in St. Louis. “We were in a recession for about seven years,” Bond said. “Construction is one of the first things to get hit when the economy goes down and it’s the last to get restarted. Companies don’t invest in construction until after they’re back up, prospering again and ready to expand.” (Read More)

Southern Illinois Builders Association supports STEM to build workforce
(Illinois Business Journal, February 2019 Issue)
The Southern Illinois Builders Association is working a multi-pronged strategy to attract young people to the construction industry where science, technology, engineering and math are its building blocks.
Each October, SIBA holds its Career Expo, which offers middle and high school students from schools across Southwestern Illinois the opportunity to get a hands-on feel for being a carpenter, plumber, electrician, etc. (Read More)

Edwardsville City Council approves contract for Plummer Family Park
(, 2/5/2019)
EDWARDSVILLE - Edwardsville City Council approved the nearly $13 million contract for the Plummer Family Park during Tuesday’s council meeting. Although some concerns were raised by council members, Mayor Hal Patton said the project has been approached in an incredibly responsible manner with “tremendous attention to detail.” (Read More)

IMPACT Strategies Begins Work on Siteman Cancer Center at Memorial Hospital East
(St. Louis Construction News and Review, 2/6/2019)
IMPACT Strategies has begun construction on the new Siteman Cancer Center to be housed in a new medical office building on Memorial Hospital East’s Shiloh campus. The new building will add approximately 70,000 square feet of treatment facilities and office space to this Illinois campus. (Read More)

Brewery/distillery transforms the news in Uptown Collinsville
(Illinois Business Journal, February 2019 Issue)
When Derik and Whitney Reiser decided to turn the page, they opted for the local newspaper. They bought the historic building that once housed the Collinsville Herald, transforming it cover to cover during a two-year, multi-million-dollar renovation. The result is the Old Herald Brewery and Distillery, which opened Jan. 3 at 115 E. Clay St. in the heart of Uptown Collinsville. (Read More)

Renovation of George Terry Arena should start this spring
(Illinois Business Journal, February 2019 Issue)
Lewis and Clark Community College trustees have authorized the multi-million-dollar renovation of the George Terry Arena on the Godfrey campus. The arena, built in 1993, supports the college’s athletic programs, and the renovation would improve building conditions, the college said. (Read More)

West Star Aviation completes new hangar at St. Louis Regional Airport
(Illinois Business Journal, 2/4/2019)
West Star Aviation is now using its newly constructed 60,000 square feet of space at St. Louis Regional Airport in East Alton and hired new employees as a result. The hangar features 40,000 square feet of hangar space and 20,000 square feet of back shop and office space and supports West Star's expansion of existing aircraft maintenance programs.  (Read More)

The Public Policy Committee of the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois held its annual Leadership Council Springfield Lobby Day.
Wednesday, February 6, 2019.

Madison County to make $2.3 million in road improvements in Godfrey
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/29/2019)
Madison County is planning a $2.3 million road construction project for Seiler Road in Godfrey.
The project calls for reconstruction of Seiler Road from Humbert Road, east 1.21 miles to approximately 460 feet west of Wenzel Road. Stutz Excavating, Inc. of Alton, submitted the lowest of eight bids. (Read More)

Towneplace Suites by Marriott opens in Edwardsville
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/30/2019)
A new 91-suite hotel has opened its doors in Edwardsville. The TownePlace Suites by Marriott St. Louis Edwardsville officially opened its doors today, Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 6161 Center Grove Road. TownePlace Suites markets itself for travelers looking for a simple and friendly place to stay and keep a routine. (Read More)

City Council to vote on Fairfield Inn plans
(Belleville News-Democrat, 1/29/2019)
O'FALLON - The Fairfield Inn at Central Park by Marriott would be the 14th hotel in the city, if approved by the O’Fallon City Council Feb. 4 and if two other hotels under construction get established. The Fairfield Inn will be on 2.66 acres at 1180 Central Park Drive, southeast of Gold’s Gym. It will feature 108 rooms on four floors, plus a fitness center, indoor pool and meeting space. (Read More)

Collinsville park project among recipients of $28.9M in state-funded grants
(Edwardsville Intelligencer, 2/5/2019)
SPRINGFIELD — Gov. J.B. Pritzker Tuesday announced $28.9 million in grants for 89 local projects that will help communities acquire open space and develop and improve recreational facilities throughout Illinois. In Madison County, the Gidden Park Revival Development project in Collinsville is slated to recieve a $400,000 grant.  (Read More)

Contegra Construction, city’s economic development highlighted at annual breakfast
(Edwardsville Intelligencer, 2/5/2019)
EDWARDSVILLE — Edwardsville had a record-breaking $248 million in new construction last year, and is poised to continue with a number of new projects this year, according to Mayor Hal Patton. Patton talked about the city’s economic development at its annual Business Forecast Breakfast on Tuesday morning at Lewis and Clark Community College’s N.O. Nelson Campus. (Read More)

‘A lot of hard work’: SSP opens doors to $2.2M wellness center
(Alton Telegraph, 2/5/2019)
ALTON – Large crowds came out to look over the new Senior Services Plus Wellness Center during its open house and grand opening Monday. Jeff Pfeifer came out to exercise. As people milled around and talked, he was busy working out. A member for just under a year, he was impressed with the new 10,000 square-foot facility. (Read More)

Pole positions: Gateway raceway plans job fairs, opportunities for nonprofits
(Illinois Business Journal, 2/4/2019)
Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison is hosting two job fairs to help prepare for the expanded schedule on its 2019 season. The home of NASCAR, INDYCAR and NHRA racing says many positions are available in a number of departments are available. The first fair will be held on Thursday, Feb. 21, from 5 to 8 p.m.  (Read More)

Business leaders form new alliance to lure business to St. Louis region
(Illinois Business Journal, 1/31/2019)
Business leaders from the St. Louis Regional Chamber, Civic Progress and the Regional Business Council today jointly announced the launch of what they call a world-class private sector economic development effort aimed at attracting and retaining businesses, jobs and top talent for the St. Louis region. (Read More)

Downtown Alton chosen for Great Streets Initiative grant
(Illinois Business Journal, 2/5/2019)
Downtown Alton has been selected by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments as the recipient of a Great Streets Initiative grant. The grant will consist of nearly $500,000 in planning assistance, which will help the community expand the way it thinks about streets and chart a course for implementing improvements. (Read More)

15 major city projects address Highland’s growth, city manager says
(Belleville News-Democrat, 2/4/2019)
Highland City Manager Mark Latham said 2019 will be the busiest year for Highland in a long time, with more than 15 major projects involving infrastructure, renovations and new buildings. “These really came from a strategic meeting with the council a couple years ago to get a better picture of where they would like to see us go,” Latham said. (Read More)

In his first trip as governor, Pritzker goes to SWIC to sign executive order
(Belleville News Democrat, 1/16/19)
BELLEVILLE - Gov. J.B. Pritzker showed he is remembering downstate by making a visit to Southern Illinois his first trip outside Springfield as governor. Pritzker, of Chicago, signed an executive order on Wednesday at Southwestern Illinois College to help strengthen workforce training in the state. (Read More)

Southwestern Illinois sites added to the National Register of Historic Places
(Illinois Business Journal, 2/8/2019)
Sites in Belleville, Glen Carbon and Randolph County are among 30 properties added to the National Register of Historic Places, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has announced. The list reflects the efforts of Illinois historic preservation advocates to preserve and promote the state's heritage. (Read More)

Woolpert Acquires Waller, Todd & Sadler Architects
(Illinois Business Journal, February 2019 Issue)
On Jan. 8, 2019, the architecture, engineering, and geospatial firm of Woolpert announced its acquisition of Waller, Todd & Sadler Architects of Virginia Beach, Va. Acquiring the firm is part of a long-term strategic plan launched by Woolpert in 2015 when officials conducted a nationwide search for a company that would help them expand their reach while aligning with their mission statement and goals.  (Read More)
Save the Date! - 2019 Salute to Southwestern Illinois Award Dinner

At this year’s event we will be celebrating infrastructure investments that are vital to our community and significantly impact our daily lives. The following individuals and organizations will be acknowledged for playing a key role in developing infrastructure: Ameren Illinois, Illinois American Water, Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis, Illinois Department of Transportation, Senator Martin A. Sandoval, Representative Jay Hoffman, East-West Gateway Council of Governments, St. Louis Regional Freightway, Madison County, and St. Clair County.    

*Logo designed/donated by Destinee Penigar 
Thank you to the Leadership Council's Program Sponsors: