Mt. Vernon Register-News


March 12, 2013

Group seeks input from community members

MT. VERNON — — Connect SI Foundation and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity are hosting a series of meetings to promote economic growth.

Sessions will be held throughout Southern Illinois to discuss the challenges and opportunities in Southern Illinois for prosperous regional growth, according to information from Connect SI. The group is looking for input from "informed community members who believe in the vision of a stronger future for our region."

A meeting will be held 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Municipal Building West on Potomac Boulevard in Mt. Vernon on March 22. Meetings have also been scheduled in Harrisburg, Mt. Carmel, Carbondale, Sparta and Ullin.

"The Connect SI Foundation is looking forward to working with DCEO's Bill Stanhouse and other Southern Illinoisans on this important endeavor," said Kathy Lively, executive director of Connect SI. "Our region has so much to offer and can be more prosperous if we continue working toward regional solutions. This is a chance to celebrate the great talents of our people and the resources of our region, and communicate this richness to the world."'

The sessions are characterized as listening sessions and facilitated by Dr. John Washburn, retired SIU professor of workforce education and development. Washburn will encourage discussion, dialogue and a collaborative spirit, according to information from Connect SI. The sessions are expected to be attended by other regional, state and federal partners who can bring resources to the opportunities and challenges identified in the meetings.

Washburn will prepare a summary of solutions, concerns and opportunities presented, which will then serve as the foundation for creating collaborations. Future meetings will be held to address individual initiatives.

Additional information is available by contacting Lively at 998-0970, ext. 237 or by email at or

Text Only

Local Photo