Collinsville— Community leaders are invited to help shape workforce and economic development policy recommendations at a regional forum on Wednesday, February 16, from 8:30 – 12:00.  The forum is being held Gateway Center in Collinsville, at One Gateway Drive.  The forum is being coordinated through the Illinois Works for the Future (IWF) campaign and is being presented by Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois, Lewis and Clark Community College, Madison-Bond Workforce Investment Board, Madison County, Madison County Continuum of Care, Mid America Workforce Investment Board, St. Clair County Homeless Action Council, St. Clair County Intergovernmental Grants Department, Selsius™ Corporate and Career Training at Southwestern Illinois College, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.


Beginning in 2009, IWF launched a series of forums in communities throughout the state.  These community forums are designed to learn from those who are engaged in economic and workforce development activities about the current challenges and/or opportunities they face in reaching their economic and workforce development goals. Through these meetings, IWF hopes to generate ideas for effective strategies that will work in specific communities, highlight successful examples of integration of workforce and economic development, and identify state policies, programs and investments that can support communities in their efforts.  Topics of discussion for the Southwestern Illinois Community Forum will include strategies for short- and long-term workforce and economic development in the area, challenges, gaps and opportunities in developing a quality workforce and job creation; and recommended policy solutions for state and local policymakers. 


The information gathered at the forum will assist IWF to develop its advocacy priorities. Statewide findings from all of the meetings, including the upcoming Southwestern Illinois forum, will be compiled in a final report that will be submitted to policymakers for state-level workforce and economic development decision making.

The mission of IWF is to work with private and public partners statewide to integrate workforce and economic development and to think about ways to deliver job skills training and education in a way that is beneficial for workers, business and the community. 

Those wishing to attend the forum should contact Lucy Chappee at

or call 618-296-4306

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