Carroll, Lee and Whiteside counties now all have a University of Illinois Extension Community & Economic Development (CED) Educator--though Whiteside did have a very able CED Educator prior to our recent reorganization--serving the three-county region. This new CED Educator would be me, Terry Feinberg, and at this point, you'll probably all look to my photo; which, as much as I grumble about it, actually does look quite like me.
Now you've got the name and the face but, perhaps, no clue what a Community & Economic Development Educator will do for you and hopefully, this first blogging attempt will begin to provide an answer.
As an 11-year veteran of University of Illinois Extension, I've long believed that everything we do is all about community and economic development, we've just arranged it in three specific packages--Ag & Natural Resources, Youth and Consumer and Family Economics--and pretty much everything that's appropriate and leftover is covered by our CED team. Everything Extension does is designed to improve conditions and enhance the economy of our communities whether that community be defined with local government borders, specific industries, community residents or families and individuals. And, though we have "official" designations, all Educators in our unit (CLW) work together across disciplines to pool our experience and knowledge to best serve Carroll, Lee and Whiteside counties.
In my previous role as an Extension (or regional) Educator, I worked in 21 counties in northwest Illinois, including Carroll, Lee and Whiteside and was based in the Rockford Center. I've worked with your community and economic development professionals and look forward to continued efforts and expanding our Extension horizon to include others. I've worked with retail businesses, local governments, community organizations and a variety of nonprofits and am currently looking forward to our expanded partnership with Sauk Valley Community College and their community and economic development efforts.
So, here's the table, what do I bring to it?
I assist businesses of all sorts to improve workforce environments, customer service and, of course, bottom lines. I have existing relationships and look to build more with your local government officials. I work with youth to development workplace and entrepreneurial skills, help families get along better on the holidays (really!) and even provide guidance to finding that perfect gift all through education and facilitation. For a list of some of my existing programs, go to http://web.extension.illinois.edu/clw/staff/feinberg.html
and to learn more about what I and my colleagues bring to your table--be it your community, home or work--please give us a call at 815-835-2070.
And check back to our website periodically to learn about University of Illinois Extension in your county.
Oh wait, yeah, about that unraveling thread thing?
I needed a name for this blog and not a single, pithy phrase came to mind and after running through a hundred or more plausible (but really bad) titles, it dawned on me that our Extension Unit, C-L-W (or "clew" as we pronounce it) is actually a word, a Greek myth which, according to my online dictionary, defines clew as the ball of thread used by Theseus to find his way out of the labyrinth. And so I thought, what a great way to describe what it is we in Extension do: we are the thread that assists communities out of the labyrinth by providing appropriate and timely, research-based, interactive programs (that don't put you to sleep!).