Contact Us

University of Illinois Extension serving Cook County

Cook County
8751 S. Greenwood Avenue, Suites 112-122
Chicago, IL 60619
Phone: 773-768-7779
FAX: 773-768-4818
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

1114 N. Arlington Heights Road
Suite 201
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
Phone: 847-201-4176
FAX: 847-201-4175
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Cook County
1140 N. Lamon
Floor 2
Chicago, IL 60651
Phone: 773-287-8333
FAX: 773-287-8335
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Cook County
4747 Lincoln Mall Drive
Suite 601
Matteson, IL 60443
Phone: 708-679-6889
FAX: 708-679-6855
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 4 pm

Cook County
Enterprise Center
2205 Enterprise Drive, Suite 501
Westchester, IL 60154
Phone: 708-449-4320
FAX: 708-492-1805
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 4 pm

Cook County
9415 South Western Avenue, Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60643
Phone: 773-233-2900
FAX: 773-233-9183
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Cook County
9415 South Western Avenue, Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60643
Phone: 773-651-4011
FAX: 773-651-4047
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Community and Economic Development

Community and Economic Development


Principles That Guide the Work of Quality Leaders

  1. Value Your Contributions Appreciate the work that you put in to make things happen. Also value and acknowledge others who are working with you.
  2. There is always room for improvement. Every program can become better by building on its strengths. People and organizations grow, learn and change every day. We must be ready to change and improve to meet their needs. Everyone with a connection to the program can suggest ways to help meet its goals.
  3. Actions which involve everyone are the most successful. The most successful programs happen when the key stakeholders are involved. When everyone is part of the process, they can see and understand the need for action. . Even if you think you can do it all, ask for input and help whenever possible. This may require an ad hoc committee or simply meeting with someone to flush out ideas for the program. Assistants look forward to providing their insight into projects.
  4. Slow, gradual change will last. Another principle is that it takes time to make things happen. Start with a few changes and work them in over time. Work at a pace that is comfortable for your program. Small but constant improvement that involves everyone is apt to have lasting effects. Broad, sweeping change is hard to maintain.
  5. People working together are the best resource. When people openly share ideas, creative solutions can result. When you respect each other's ideas, you will find you can handle problems that you thought were impossible to solve.
  6. Sharing the leadership role will increase participation. An important concept is the value of shared leadership. The success of a program really depends on the ability of a team of people working together. The contribution of every member of the team is necessary for the process to work. Shared leadership does not mean that no one is in charge. It means that group members participate by sharing their leadership skills.
  7. Use an action plan system. This means that the process for planning a project should include – the idea – the plan – input – review – then action
  8. Be committed to your responsibilities. When you make a commitment to perform a task, follow-through in a timely manner. If you cannot do what you have volunteered to do let other leaders know as soon as possible.
  9. Share resources. Resources are usually limited when working to obtain a goal. Share or ask for resources such as books, newspaper articles and referrals that can help the group or individuals perform tasks related to the project.
  10. Have celebration time. Encourage the group that you are leading to find ways to celebrate their success.

University of Illinois Extension has the following on-line programs:

  • U-Facilitate, is designed for anyone wanting to get better at facilitating groups of people working together. Many community members are active in volunteer groups and organizations, identifying issues and defining possible solutions. Effective leaders in those groups need to bring an unbiased perspective, keep discussions focused, and help the group problem-solve and set goals. A leader with good facilitation skills can empower a group to decide on issues, expand communication, and develop fair and equitable solutions.
  • Conflict Resolution a Time for Development As difficult as conflict can be, conflict situations can provide opportunities for growth and development. This website offers resources and tools to learn more about conflict and how to manage it effectively.
  • Scheduling Your Project Activities To manage multiple timelines, multiple projects or groups of people, this on-line program uses the Gantt chart as a way of keeping your plans on-task.

The Community Tool Box an on-line resource with information on essential skills for building healthy communities. It offers more than 7,000 pages of practical guidance in creating change and improvement. Learning modules include: community assessments, strategic planning, volunteerism, leadership development, community intervention, program evaluation and much more.

Community and Leadership a website dedicated to community and economic development with various modules such as: diversity and inclusion, economic viability, leadership development, organizational development, planning and public policy