SI/Works is a Southern Illinois Growth Initiative. Our mission is to foster community and economic development that ultimately creates jobs and private sector investment in the five-county region, which includes Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Perry and Williamson counties, in Illinois.
Through the alliance of local organizations including the Greater Egypt Regional Planning and Development Commission, the Southern Illinois Workforce Development Board, Man-Tra-Con, and other vital economic development partners across the region, SI/Works delivers comprehensive information and resources to foster an economically diverse environment for business and industry with a growing population, labor force, per capita income and expanding tax base, while maintaining a high quality of life and place.
SI/Works represents the collective strengths of our five-county region and demonstrates how organizations and individuals continue to find success here. Our strengths include: the affordability and availability of land, lower cost of living, access to natural resources, strong labor force, transportation and infrastructure, high quality educational institutions, and depth of health care services and specialties. From local, home grown businesses to global companies that have planted roots, these key strengths have proven to be an invaluable combination that supports the growth and vitality of our economy and the quality of life of our residents.
With Illinois ranked third in the country for total economic development projects by the Governor’s Cup Awards from Site Selection Magazine in 2017, SI/Works provides a clear proof point of why location matters. Comprised of nearly 2,500 square miles and more than 55 incorporated municipalities, not only does SI/Works represent the expansion of business and economy within our southern Illinois region, it showcases how this region supports the needs and wants of families and individuals looking for the combination of personal options and professional offerings. The climate is agreeable to year around outdoor activities and recreation. Four functional and beautiful Lakes serve as a water supply for the area, and are main attractions of recreation for residents and tourists. The stability of the job market and safety of communities, the proximity of less than 100 miles to other major cities, and access to quality healthcare and education institutions, the location of these cohesive five-counties creates a well-rounded, highly resourced area ripe with opportunities. It has been said before that location is everything. Well, welcome to everything.
SI/Works highlights and addresses the top factors companies look for when selecting a primary place to do business. Of our many regional assets, logistics rises to the top of the list for companies across all industries. In fact, operations and management leaders throughout the area cite the ease of logistics in southern Illinois as a prevailing factor that bolsters their productivity and efficiency. Via waterways, roadways, rail and air, we have world class transportation infrastructure that affords companies to seamlessly bring in raw materials and move products, goods and services. Major Freeways and Expressways (I-64, I-57, I-24, and Route 13), industrial parks and pipelines, as well as regional airports and rivers contribute to operations excellence and overall profitability for businesses and functional quality of life for residents. In addition, our ability to connect physical and telecommunications infrastructure provides access to regional and global markets.
Strong work ethic, spirit of pride, and the ability to train and develop professionally, are factors that attribute to the dynamic workforce within the SI/Works, Southern Illinois Growth Initiative. From seasoned, skilled workers, and tradesmen and women, to white collar professionals and those familiar with the ins and outs of agriculture, SI/Works boasts one of the most vibrant and viable workforces in the country. Businesses and educational institutions have partnered together to create workforce development and entrepreneurial programs that support technology, automotive and aviation, agriculture, engineering, healthcare, administration, specialized trades and countless other industries to make our workforce even stronger. Whether a company is looking to hire for its industry or a candidate is looking to advance in their field, there is a tremendous opportunity to create, work and thrive within the region.
Education is a core value embedded in the heart of our region and is a part of what binds our local communities. Southern Illinois University, Rend Lake College and John A. Logan College serve as dynamic collegiate anchor institutions. A host of public and private schools at the early childhood, primary, and secondary education levels also provide a foundation for families, young people and prospective workers, while the extension of training programs through public workforce funds allow for continuing education for those already employed. The region is primed for the creation of homegrown entrepreneurs to bring innovative solutions that will help shape the future of our economy, in concert with national and global businesses, as well as education focused partnerships and programs.
SI/Works highlights the numerous assets, competitive advantages and opportunities available for current and potential businesses, organizations, workers, families, residents and visitors, specific to this unique five-country region in southern Illinois. A fledging business owner can plant and cultivate their entrepreneurial roots, while a global company can expand with new headquarters or a state-of-the-art local facility. Whether the desire is city or rural, quiet or adventure, arts or outdoors, local or world class, it’s all here. Young people can build a future, families can realize a safe and secure lifestyle, visitors can explore, businesses can expand, and those with roots can return, stay, grow and thrive.
SI/Works is a Southern Illinois Growth Initiative committed to the ongoing economic vibrancy and quality of life for those throughout Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Perry and Williamson counties, in Illinois.