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April 2011



Welcome to the first edition of Metro East NewsLink!

What is Metro East NewsLink? It is a new monthly communications tool aimed at keeping business decision-makers, public officials and key regional stakeholders informed about the positive developments in the economy of Southwestern Illinois. With so many of today's news headlines focused on the economic challenges at the federal, state and local levels, it's easy to overlook the fact that good things are still happening in our region. 

When you take into account the fact that $6 billion in capital investment projects were in various stages of construction during 2010 and almost $1 billion in planned new investments are coming to our region -- that is exciting news to share. We believe it's important to spotlight these projects as they happen and keep you informed about new developments and opportunities in our region.  That's what our Metro East NewsLink is all about.

Since this is our first edition, we would greatly appreciate you taking a few minutes to review it. We welcome your input on how we can shape this new e-newsletter going forward so that it can be of greater value to you. Just as important, we ask that you pass this e-mail on to your friends and colleagues so you can help us spread the word about Metro East NewsLink and Southwestern Illinois.

Have a great week!




Granite City plant restores 700 jobs (, 3/11/11)
Amsted Rail Co. is hiring again at its Granite City plant, two years after laying off about 70 percent of the plant's workforce. "It's going great. We have all our people back at work," said Robert Lott, president of United Steelworkers of America Local 1063, the union representing workers. The Chicago-based maker of rail machinery laid off about 700 workers at the 1700 Walnut St. plant in 2008 and 2009, when the manufacturing sector collapsed. About 350 employees remained. Read More 
MidAmerica Airport getting $2.24 million runway upgrade for cargo planes (Belleville News Democrat, 3/15/11)
The St. Clair County Public Building Commission voted Tuesday to spend nearly $2.24 million to enlarge the runway apron at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah. "It doubles the size," said Tim Cantwell, the airport director. "It gives us the opportunity to have four 747 air cargo planes on the ground at once, he said. Read More
Quinn announces $19 million plan to expand SWIC building (Belleville News Democrat, 3/31/11)
The state is making a $19.1 million capital investment in Southwestern Illinois College to pay for an expansion at the Belleville campus.  Gov. Pat Quinn traveled to SWIC on Thursday to announce the plan, which calls for funding from the $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! initiative formed two years ago. The college will build a 72,000-square-foot expansion of the Liberal Arts Building, which opened in 2008.  Read More 
Memorial Hospital plans $118 million hospital in Shiloh, Ill. (St. Louis Business Journal, 4/1/11) 

Memorial Hospital in Belleville is planning a $118 million satellite hospital in Shiloh, hospital officials announced Friday. The 94-bed hospital would be built on a 94-acre tract of land located at Frank Scott Parkway and Cross Street purchased in 2008. The new facility would expand Memorial's reach and allow for all-private rooms in both locations. Read More

Historic Wildey Theatre set to reopen in Edwardsville (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 4/8/11) 
Before it closed in 1984, memories were made at the Wildey Theatre for three-quarters of a century. Beginning on Tuesday, new memories will be made there. Workers are putting the final touches on a top-to-bottom renovation of the iconic theater in downtown Edwardsville, an entertainment venue for generations of area residents that has been mostly dark for 27 years. Read More

Contact Information
Patrick McKeehan

Executive Director

Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois


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