April 3, 2018
This week comes with plenty of spring rain, but it's hard to dampen the spirits here in Southwestern Illinois with exciting news from around the region spotlighting hundreds of new jobs to be added in the next couple of years and new developments totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. 

World Wide Technology has announced a $115 million expansion of their Edwardsville operations, signing a lease for two-million square feet of space in what is being heralded as the largest lease in the region's history. The plans call for adding 500 employees to its existing workforce in the area. And that's just one of several projects expected to break ground in Edwardsville this year, where investment is expected to climb to nearly $300 million and also add new office, residential and commercial space to the community. 

We're also excited to see several announcements about new investments in the healthcare sector in both Madison and St. Clair counties, with a $14.2 million cancer center planned by OSF St. Anthony's in Alton, while HSHS will build a $2 million Metro East Clinic in Maryville and Touchette Hospital has announced a $2.5 million renovation in Centerville. 

Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force base is hard at work expanding partnerships with area schools to help ensuring a strong science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics curriculum. And more details are emerging about Jerseyville's Mid-American International Gateway Business Park, which developers indicate is poised to become a primary hub for trade between the Midwest and Mexico. 

See the articles below for more on these developments and all the other good news announced in recent weeks.

Have a great week!
Ronda Sauget, D. Mgmt, MBA
Executive Director
Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois
Still growing: World Wide Technology plans big expansion in the Metro East
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3/16/18)
Less than a year after opening a shiny new headquarters facility in Maryland Heights, World Wide Technology is again planning massive expansion, this time in the Metro East. The technology systems integrator and solutions provider has signed a lease to occupy more than 2 million square feet of industrial space - spread evenly across two buildings - in the Gateway Commerce Center in Edwardsville. Earth City-based TriStar Properties is the developer of the project, which is expected to cost more than $115 million and begin construction before the end of the month.  ( Read More )

Edwardsville says nearly $300 million in construction projects breaking ground in 2018
(Illinois Business Journal, 3/24/18)
The city of Edwardsville will see nearly $300 million in new construction breaking ground within the next few months. Mayor Hal Patton said that according to statistics from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the city's unemployment rate now stands at 3.2 percent as of January 2018, a decrease of 120 basis points compared year over year with January 2017. ( Read More)

$20 million-plus student housing complex near SIUE moves forward
(St. Louis Business Journal, 3/14/18)
Contegra Construction Co. has broken ground on a more than $20 million student housing complex near Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville.  Edwardsville-based Contegra, one of the fastest growing companies in the region, is the general contractor for the 486-bed, nine-building housing complex, which broke ground in November. (Read More)

Air Force looks to join forces with local educators
(Belleville News-Democrat, 3/22/18)
Air Mobility Command is hard at work looking to expand partnerships with area schools near and surrounding military installations.  Ensuring a strong science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics curriculum, known as STEAM, benefits school districts and the Air Force alike. (Read More)

Fairview Heights to spend $5M to build roundabout, widen roads at this shopping complex
(Bellville News-Democrat, 3/19/18)
The city of Fairview Heights will spend the next two years making major improvements to Commerce Lane and Market Place and building a roundabout where the two roads meet.  Officials view the $5 million project as a proactive way to maintain the long-term health of the shopping district west of Illinois 159 and north of Lincoln Trail. ( Read More )

U.S. Steel increases earning projection
(Advantage News, 3/12/18)
U.S. Steel Corp. expects to earn $1.7 billion this year after restarting a blast furnace and steelmaking facilities at Granite City Works.   In its full-year 2018 guidance, released Monday, the company states it expects to ship 100,000 tons per month from the Granite City plant once the restart process is completed in approximately four months. (Read More)

One year later: Checking the pulse of progress at OSF Saint Anthony's
(RiverBender, 3/13/18)
In March of 2017, OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony's Health Center announced sweeping changes to how it will enhance health care to the Riverbend community, adding convenient sites throughout the region and creating care teams that provide a coordinated approach to the health care experience. ( Read More)

Touchette Hospital rebrands, plans $2.5 million in renovations
(St. Louis Business Journal, 3/15/18)
Touchette Regional Hospital is launching a rebranding effort as it continues with millions of dollars in upgrades and expansions at its Centreville, Illinois, campus.  The hospital plans to spend $2.5 million to upgrade its outpatient surgery unit and operating department, including expanding from two to four operating rooms and adding new bays for outpatient surgery. (Read More)

HSHS building new $2 million Metro East clinic
(St Louis Business Journal, 3/16/18)
HSHS Medical Group is investing $2 million to build a medical clinic in Maryville, Illinois.  The new 8,200-square-foot facility, located at 2401 S. Center St., will replace existing medical offices at 1950 Vandalia St. in Collinsville. (Read More)

Plans for Metro East Sports Park move forward
(St. Louis Business Journal, 3/9/18)
Plans for a $12 million sports park in Edwardsville, Illinois, are moving forward.  Aldermen have approved initial contracts for the Plummer Family Sports Park project, including a $539,900 contract to Stutz Excavating for grading and sewer extensions at the site, the Edwardsville Intelligencer reports. (Read More)

East Alton Mayor Joe Silkwood describes local purchase of East Gate Plaza as "a great thing" for the region
(RiverBender, 3/13/18)
It is no secret the East Gate Shopping Plaza is a distressed strip mall. East Alton Mayor Joe Silkwood hopes that is about to change with the ownership changing hands from Los Angeles-based Portland Investment Company to EG Plaza, LLC, with Julia's Banquet Center owners, Todd and Julia Kennedy as its principals. (Read More)

Jerseyville can be Midwest's primary trade hub with Mexico
(Metro East Chronicle, 3/19/18)
Jerseyville's planned new Mid-American International Gateway Business Park is destined to become nothing less than the focal point of trade between Mexico and much of Mid-America, developers promise. ( Read More)

Board approves $1.35 million in park grants for communities across the county
(Alton Telegraph, 3/2/218)
Park and recreation grants totaling $1.35 million were approved by the Madison County Board at Wednesday's meeting. Local communities will receive grants from $15,000 to $138,000 for projects. ( Read More)

2018 Alton region travel guide honored by governor's conference
(Illinois Business Journal, 3/21/18)
"Authentic Adventures," the 2018 travel guide created by the Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau, received top honors at the recent Illinois Governor's Conference on Travel & Tourism. The 56-page guide was named Best Visitors Publication during an awards ceremony held at the Palmer House in Chicago. Awards honored Illinois' passionate travel and tourism marketing teams with the best marketing initiatives of 2017. 
Gondola and public shuttle system approach reality in Grafton
(The Telegraph 3/20/18)
Efforts are underway to finalize a deal that would bring a $2 million gondola system to town. The proposed system, which would be a joint venture between Aerie's Resort and two New Hampshire gondola companies - Skyfair, Inc. and SkyTrans Mfg., LLC - would carry visitors from near downtown Grafton uphill to the scenic vista of Aerie's Winery. ( Read More)

Six recipients of Deluxe Corporation's $500,000 Small Business Revolution grant announced
(RiverBender 3/23/18)
The six recipients of a $500,000 grant from the Deluxe Corporation were announced at Alton's Broadway Bash Friday night. Shampooches, Bluff City Outdoors, Today's Hair Supply, Morrison's Irish Pub, Lighthouse Sounds, and Lovetts will receive a portion of that sum and be showcased on the show The Small Business Revolution which airs on Hulu and YouTube as well as Deluxe Corporation's website. ( Read More)

Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation Advances in Brackets for Good Competition
The Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation is one of 16 nonprofits still competing in this year's Brackets for Good Competition. The local nonprofit has made it to the Supported Sixteen Round. The Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation is a nonprofit located in East St. Louis, IL, which serves more than two thousand kids each year. The Foundation is committed to ensuring that all children in East St. Louis have access to high quality after-school programs, safe recreational places within their communities, and caring adults to help them achieve their dreams.