(618) 692-9745

O’Fallon, Ill., Mar. 30, 2015… A crowd of more than 200 gathered this afternoon for a Business Summit hosted by the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois featuring Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Governor Rauner, along with State of Illinois Agency Directors Jim Schultz (DCEO), Jeffrey Mays (IDES) and Hugo Chaviano (IDOL) participated in the summit to provide Leadership Council members and other local political leaders with a firsthand overview of the Governor’s Turnaround Agenda and how it relates to Southwestern Illinois.

During the Business Summit, representatives of the Leadership Council had the opportunity to provide an overview of what they see as the opportunities for growth in Southwestern Illinois, the 2nd largest population center after Chicago, and engage in a question and answer session. They highlighted Scott Air Force Base, which has grown by 40 percent in the last decade, recently secured two new cyber-security missions that are bringing more jobs to the base, and is on the short list to be the new home for the National Geospatial Agency, which could add 3,000 more jobs at a brand new facility adjacent to Scott Air Force Base.

The region’s multi-modal freight growth opportunities also were discussed, along with the diversity of the Southwestern Illinois economy, the strength of the manufacturing sector and the growth potential in that sector.

The Leadership Council also shared the top priorities on its legislative agenda with Governor Rauner and his staff.  Those include funding for infrastructure improvements and expansions that will support current and new missions at Scott Air Force Base; passage of a long term State Capital Funding bill and Multimodal Transportation Improvement Program that includes dedicated revenue sources to support multimodal growth opportunities in Southwestern Illinois, and  the need to continue to work collaboratively to implement legislation that solves the pension liability issue, develop and implement a balanced budget and return to timely payment of the state’s obligations.

Leadership Council Hosts Governor Rauner Visit

First and Final Add

Rounding out the Leadership Council’s Legislative Agenda is the need for more competitive state incentives that support business retention, expansion and attraction, and funding support for programs, projects and incentives that can aid Southwestern Illinois’ disadvantaged communities to increase jobs in these communities.

Earlier in the day, Governor Rauner and his staff participated in the briefing by the Scott Air Force Base Task Force and had the opportunity tour the base.

“It is a privilege to host Governor Bruce Rauner and his staff on this visit to Southwestern Illinois,” said Ellen Krohne, executive director of the Leadership Council. “We are grateful for the time afforded us to provide an update on the tremendous growth potential here in Southwestern Illinois and to reinforce the importance of Scott Air Force Base as a driver of our economy today and into the future.”

For more information on The Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois visit www.leadershipcouncilswil.com.