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Russell Medley
Extension Educator, Community and Economic Development
University of Illinois Extension
321 W 2nd Avenue
Milan, IL 61264
Phone: 309-756-9978
FAX: 309-756-9987

Community and Economic Development

Community and Economic Development

University of Illinois Extension provides practical, research-based information and programs to help individuals, families, organizations, businesses, farms, and rural and urban communities throughout Illinois.

Community and Economic Development

When you support University of Illinois Extension through Community and Economic Development, counties and communities have access to community development, economic development, professionals, research and technical assistance.  Extension provides staff support for counties and communities without sufficient resources to complete the work. It increases the local knowledge of economic development, trends, best practices, and state and federal programs that offer technical and grant assistance. In this way, communities can implement economic development plans that meet local business needs, attract and expand new businesses, increase local sales tax revenues, and focuses on workforce improvement. Extending knowledge, changing lives.  

When you support the University of Illinois Extension’s Community Participatory Planning program, local communities and municipal governments convene stakeholders to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their region, identify gaps in data and develop a preferred strategic vision for their communities going forward. This new knowledge results in a development of high quality economic development plans, a delivery infrastructure, and an ongoing monitoring framework. It also allows for a grassroots focus on bottom up economic development planning as opposed to top down. Extending knowledge, changing lives.   When you support the University of Illinois Extension’s Community Leadership and Organizational Development program, municipalities, counties, school districts, library boards, public and private non-profit organizations increase their capacity of local decision making through facilitation, skills training, managing projects, survey design, strategic planning, and understanding data.  It also allows for leadership capacity building to improve local economic development outcomes. Extending knowledge, changing lives.  

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Local Resources and Information

  • Small Business Day Award Application PDF
    The Entrepreneurial Support Network (ESN) of West Central Illinois is now accepting nominations for the 8th Annual Eagle Awards. These awards, to be presented at the Small Business Day Celebration on May 16, 2017, recognize local entrepreneurs in a variety of categories, including Small Business Start-up of the Year, Small Business Advocate of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, etc. Small businesses located in Henderson, Henry, Knox, Mercer and Warren Counties are eligible to be nominated. The nomination forms are available at any ESN member organization or University of Illinois Extension website: ( Nominations are due by April 3, 2017 to Carrie McKillip, University of Illinois Extension, 180 S. Soangetaha Rd, Suite 108, Galesburg, IL 61401 or Questions can also be directed to Ms. McKillip at 309.342.5108.

  • Small Business Day Awards Luncheon PDF
    Tuesday - May 16, 2017 11:30 A.M. - 1:30 P.M. Lake Storey Pavilion Route 150 at U.S. 34, Galesburg, IL Awards will be given for: --Entrepreneurial Lifetime Achievement --Entrepreneur of the Year --Small Business Start-Up of the Year --Young Entrepreneur of the Year --Small Business Advocate of the Year --Also Recognition Certificates for: --Business Anniversary of 25, 50, 75 & 100 years Guest Speaker is Don Moffitt, Assistant Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

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