January 15, 2021


This issue of Good NewsLink is our first of the New Year and we're pleased to report that, despite some of the adverse challenges from 2020 rolling over into this month, there's a continuing flow of positive news within our region.

The Leadership Council hosted a Southwestern Illinois Communities Broadband Summit for elected officials and educators on Tuesday of this week and have another one planned for service providers later this month. The intent is to provide information and future direction on strategic broadband planning and setting regional project priorities for broadband connectivity. During the summits, the Illinois Office of Broadband and Benton Institute provide details on current and future funding opportunities, including infrastructure access, digital literacy, adoption efforts and planning for future use activities in telehealth, e-learning, remote working, agri-business, military/cybersecurity infrastructure, logistics industry and business needs (AI, Automation and Robotics), as well as future direction and broadband goals for the State of Illinois.

The Leadership Council Education Committee also seeks to build awareness of long-term reliability and consistency in internet connectivity and broadband access for remote workers, telehealth for patients, e-learning for students, and other critical business and industry sectors in the Southwestern Illinois region enabling further economic development and educational enhancement activities. The results of our broadband survey will help strategic regional planning for the Southwestern Illinois Connected Communities cohort to build awareness of connectivity challenges, advocate for enhanced connectivity with state and federal legislators and related companies, identify Infrastructure solutions to bridge digital connectivity, build regional strategic alliances to further connectivity efforts and more. Businesses and organizations can complete the survey here:

As the celebration continues for the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois and Scott Air Force Base being recognized by the Abilene Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee (MAC), in conjunction with the Air Mobility Command (AMC) Office of Public Affairs, the Abilene Trophy is currently touring local communities with recent stops at the 375th Air Mobility Wing at Scott AFB and the O’Fallon Shiloh Chamber of Commerce. If a business would like the trophy to visit their location, please contact

We invite you to continue reading below for a roundup of several other articles highlighting significant investments in various sectors across the Metro East, businesses that are expanding in our region and more. Happy reading and have a great rest of the 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
Why this $5M deal shows just how hot the region's industrial market is right now
(St. Louis Business Journal, 01/07/2021)
A 65,000-square-foot industrial building in Edwardsville has sold for $4.65 million. The property, built in 2008 and located at 131 Enterprise Drive near companies such as Hershey's, Amazon and Geodis, is occupied by Team Industrial, which signed an 11-year lease just months before the deal closed on Dec. 21. (Read More)

Six Major Metro East Highway Projects in Store this Year
(Advantage News, 01/02/2021)
The Illinois Department of Transportation announced multiple Metro East projects are completed, underway or extending into future construction seasons, highlighting an ongoing commitment made possible by Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois. (Read More)

Contegra completes improvements to MidAmerica Airport in Mascoutah
(Illinois Business Journal, 12/21/2020)
Contegra Construction Co. has completed a number of improvements to facilities and infrastructure at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport. The design/build project creates a Transitional Flight Training Facility for St. Clair County to support pilot training and aircraft maintenance. (Read More)

IMPACT Strategies Breaks Ground on the 50 West Office Building
(St. Louis Construction News and Review, 01/05/2021)
IMPACT Strategies recently broke ground on the 50 West Office Building in O’Fallon, IL, a Class A office building conveniently located near the new St. Elizabeth’s Medical Facility. (Read More)

Contegra Construction Co. Completes Second Industrial Warehouse in Pontoon Beach, Ill.
(St. Louis Construction News and Review, 01/05/2021)
Northpoint Development’s second large distribution facility at Gateway Tradeport in Pontoon Beach, Illinois is complete. Contegra Construction Co. built the 544,000-square-foot warehouse six months after completing the first distribution center at the development. (Read More)

Construction starts on new office building in Metro East
(St. Louis Business Journal, 01/04/2020)
Construction has begun on a new three-story office building in O'Fallon, Illinois, that will house medical practices near HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. (Read More)

Freightway touts accomplishments on both sides of Mississippi
(Illinois Business Journal, 01/04/2021)
The St. Louis Regional Freightway helped to advance the bi-state St. Louis region as a world-class freight hub in 2020 and showcased the region’s resilience and continued importance in the global supply chain as the COVID-19 pandemic raged on. (Read More)

Anderson Hospital Surgery Center, SIUE Engineering Atrium Included: Louer Facility Planning Celebrates Top 7 Projects of 2020
(, 12/21/2020)
COLLINSVILLE – Louer Facility Planning Inc. is celebrating the completion of seven signature interiors projects during 2020. (Read More)
Expert Wednesday Series

The Leadership Council started an Expert
Wednesday series for businesses to hear from experts on business related topics. We invite you to join and participate on the calls!
Upcoming Topics:

  • 1/20/2020 - The Office in the Post COVID World, Egyptian Workspace Partners
Ready or not, I-55 corridor growth promises to change Edwardsville area in a big way
(Belleville News-Democrat, 10/21/2020)
A 2006 plan for how to develop nearly 5,000 acres of land along Interstate 55 in Madison County is inching closer to reality, changing the face of Edwardsville and promising to impact neighboring communities. (Read More)

I-270 overhaul to represent major changes
(Illinois Business Journal, January 2021 Issue, Page 1)
In coming years, the landscape of one of the Metro East busiest roads will change forever. (Read More)

Boeing runs test of aerial refueling drone out of Mascoutah
(Illinois Business Journal, January 2021 Issue, Page 3)
Boeing and the U.S. Navy have for the first time flown a test of the MQ-25 drone, considered a significant milestone in the development of the unmanned aerial refueler. (Read More)

Illinois solicits device donations for Computer Equity Network
(Illinois Business Journal, January 2021 Issue, Page 8)
The state is soliciting computers and related equipment from individuals and companies as part of a new program that will distribute refurbished devices to lo-income households. (Read More)

Belleville perseverance, adaptability aids during trying year, mayor says
(Illinois Business Journal, January 2021 Issue, Page 15)
Even though the pandemic has strained economies all over the world, the city of Belleville has maintained momentum on several existing projects while welcoming new businesses and residents. (Read More)

St. Louis Downtown Airport, partners push ahead on projects
(Illinois Business Journal, January 2021 Issue, Page 15)
Air traffic was slow for much of 2020, but it’s been full speed ahead on various projects to enhance St. Louis Downtown Airport located in Cahokia and Sauget. (Read More)

40-year-old warehouser still breaking new ground
(Illinois Business Journal, January 2021 Issue, Page 1)
A new 216,000-square-foot warehouse is adding to the landscape of a family operated industrial park in Nashville, Ill., that has quietly grown into one of the largest of its kind in the Metro East. (Read More)

Dave Birk Retires After 32 Years at Holland Construction Services
(St. Louis Post Dispatch, 12/21/2020)
David Birk, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Holland Construction, is retiring after 32 years with the company and 41 years of industry experience. (Read More)
PCs for People help get computers in the homes of those who truly need them!

Distributes refurbished corporate computers updated to Windows 10, with very low-cost, unlimited internet access for students, underserved populations, elderly, and veterans.

They have connected over 450,000 people to internet and computing devices. The State of Illinois Office of Broadband has committed to facilitate the donation of 10,000 computers to PCs for People Metro East, but they have set a goal of sourcing a total of 25,000 computers in their first year in order to meet the significant need in our community, and they need our help to meet that goal.

PCs for People is NAID AAA certified to wipe clean all data off computers and recertify them for reuse

PC donations needed!!  

If you would like more information about how to donate computers, please contact the Leadership Council office at 618-692-9745 or
Thank you to the Leadership Council's Program Sponsors: