Uniting the Region for Growth
Since 1983, the Leadership Council has been the premier organization fostering economic growth in Southwestern Illinois. The Council developed the first regional economic development agenda, and for over 35+ years, our organization has strengthened public/private partnerships throughout Southwestern Illinois to lay the foundation for job growth and retention.
As the years go by, our goal at the Leadership Council has remained the same in “Uniting the Region for Growth”. Southwestern Illinois is made up of a nine-county area, which includes Madison, St. Clair, Macoupin, Clinton, Monroe, Jersey, Bond, Washington and Calhoun Counties, and is the second largest population center in the State of Illinois. Southwestern Illinois represents over 700,000 individuals and ¼ of the St. Louis MSA, and is a great place to live, work and raise a family.
The Leadership Council is deeply committed to long-term workforce development in creating a talent pipeline of world class skilled, work ready and productive employees. To enable this process, the Leadership Council continues to take a leading role in coordination with strategic partners in building awareness of career options in Technical Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) related fields through its Building Workforce 2030 program. Southwestern Illinois will continue to invest in youth and entrepreneurial businesses serving as the regions next group of leaders and workforce.
Investments involving Scott Air Force Base along with notable investments regarding our healthcare sector, and infrastructure remain a priority in Southwestern Illinois.
The Leadership Council’s membership includes over 250+ top executives and decision makers from the five sectors we unite, providing a level of diversity that makes the organization unique. Cooperation and collaboration among our members and local community-based organizations have in many ways helped reshape Southwestern Illinois - strengthening our infrastructure, protecting and enhancing our major employers, building consensus on key issues, and cultivating a positive labor-management environment. The Leadership Council fosters relationships on both sides of the river, recognizing that our efforts have an impact that affects not just Southwestern Illinois, but the entire St. Louis region. The Leadership Council is a 501(c)6 that is guided by a 17-member executive committee dedicated to moving our region forward. The organization’s work is supported by three full-time employees - an Executive Director, Executive Coordinator and Administrative Assistant - along with membership volunteers.
- Maintains Highest Level of Ethical Behavior
- Builds Strong Business Integrity and Trust
- Promotes Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Responsibility
- Encourages Political Bi-Partisanship with an Inclusive Spirit of Everyone Working Together for Mutual Regional Benefit
- Enables Forward Thinking Outlook in Driving Business and Community Investment and Job Creation
Core Initatives: The Leadership Council is engaged in several initatives focused on the following priorities:
- Administration of the St. Louis Metro East Levee Issues Alliance as our counties work to secure the reaccreditation of the Metro East Levees to the 100 year level of reaccreditation, which has been completed, and the 500 year level of Flood Protection, so businesses can continue to invest here with confidence for the benefit of the entire region
- Advancement of SITE, our Southwestern Illinois Transportation Enhancement effort focused on retaining and growing the multi-modal infrastructure and job growth that is key to this region’s future success
- Retention and strengthening of Scott Air Force Base through the Military Affairs Committee and P4 Partnership in coordination with the local counties
- Focusing on growth in manufacturing, supply chain logistics, warehousing, and business economic power zones in Southwestern Illinois working with educators, the Workforce Investment Boards, labor and manufacturers focused on job creation
- Maintaining one of the longest, continuously running Labor-Management Committee in the State of Illinois
- Educating our legislators about, and building support for, issues that are vital to the region’s success
- Leading the Southwestern Illinois Economic Development Network, which promotes greater collaboration and communication between the community and economic development professionals across Southwestern Illinois
- Implementing a proactive public relations initiative in order to build a positive image for Southwestern Illinois that enhances our ability to attract and retain family supporting jobs and capital investment
- Enhancing the relationship between K-12, Community Colleges, Higher Education, and Business Leaders through the Education Committee
- Developing an Executive Ladies group, one of the only in Southwestern Illinois
We are dedicated to making sure that the foundation is being laid for future generations to live, work and prosper in Southwestern Illinois.
We support education and the positive impact it has on the workforce and the economy.
We actively engage our state and federal delegation on key issues of importance to economic growth in the region.
We continue to work on supporting retention and expansion of our manufacturing base, entrepreneurship growth and other key drivers aimed at industry growth.
We work and support labor and management with the longest standing committee in our area that’s over 35 years old.