Here is a list of news articles that have Mentioned Mattoon in Motion. We are proud that the community and our organization continues to move forward.
Mattoon in Motion continues to elevate the community
-Mattoon in Motion is operating on all cylinders. A lot of great things are happening or planned in the near future. The Cross County Innovation Center, which won the Google.org Impact Challenge Grant and People’s Choice award for a total of $325,000, will now be nicknamed “Elevate.” Read more.
Ortega, Wilhite earn Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards
MATTOON-(JG-TC) — Carlos Ortega received a Governor’s Volunteer Service Award last week for his work as an AmeriCorps intern in Mattoon, including helping with the planned entrepreneur center at the Cross County Mall.
Investing in rural communities is important
WAND 17–Dr. Chris Merritt the director of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) discusses Western Illinois University IIRA win of the Google.org grant for their project of combating Illinois Food Deserts by creating rural grocery store co-ops. Mattoon in Motion would like to think him for spotlighting Mattoon and our Business Innovation Center, Elevate. From the beginning, Western Illinois University’s Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs and their MAPPING program has helped develop the frame work for Mattoon in Motion.
See his interview here.
Google To Add More Jobs As Company Makes Chicago Its Finance Hub
CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Google is setting down stronger roots in Chicago.
Google has been in Chicago for nearly 20 years and currently has about 1,000 people working for the company. Now, it said it plans to add “hundreds” of new jobs as it makes Chicago a hub for its finance team. Google is not providing exact numbers of new jobs but said it plans to lease a second building in the Fulton Street Market area.
Ed Dowd is executive director of the Mattoon Chamber of Commerce and said the plan is to set up the Cross-County Innovation Center that will be 6,000 square feet.
“People who want to have a place to go to have a business address, to have 24/7 access (and) have a place to call home to start their business,” Dowd said. “It’s going to be an inviting environment; we’re very excited.”
February 15th, 2019
MACOMB, IL – – While the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University didn’t win the Google Impact Challenge People’s Choice Award contest, the winner did have a strong connection to WIU.
After an intense eight days of voting, the IIRA and Mattoon in Motion (MIM) were recently recognized as two of 10 non-profit organizations in the state of Illinois with the most innovative projects in creating economic opportunity. More than 170 proposals were submitted.
Mattoon in Motion a Winner in the Google.org Impact Challenge!
Saturday, March 30, 2019
City of Mattoon–Mattoon in Motion has been selected as a winner in the Google.org Impact Challenge! Our project, The Cross County Innovation Center, has received a $75,000 grant from the Google.org Impact Challenge.
The statewide competition selected ten Illinois nonprofits with bold, new ideas to create economic opportunities in their communities.
Ortega speaks to Kiwanis Club
Carlos Ortega was the recent guest speaker at the Kiwanis Club of Mattoon.
Ortega, a native of Springfield, currently a Peace Corps Fellow at Western Illinois University, is serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer working as an intern for the city of Mattoon for economic and community development and the Mattoon in Motion project.
Mattoon Chamber wants to help new and existing businesses
The Mattoon Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the Mattoon in Motion communitywide initiatives, are continually seeking opportunities to enhance existing local businesses and grow new businesses. Mattoon in Motion is partnering with both Lake Land College and the Mattoon Community School District on projects to advance the local workforce.
Google reveal: Downstate group wins $250K, tech giant expanding workforce here
Feburary 17th 2019 —
Chicago Sun Times-By Read more.Chicago wasn’t the winner of the $250,000 up for grabs in Google’s “Shark Tank” for economic development ideas…
Mattoon in Motion Receives $250,000 Grant from Google
Feburary 15th 2019–
The X Radio-Mattoon IL- After receiving the most votes in a weeklong public competition, Mattoon in Motion was announced the People’s Choice Winner and awarded a $250,000 grant from Google.org.
Mattoon in Motion is an organization that works to further long-term community development goals for the city of Mattoon. With the Google grant funding, they plan to launch a Cross-County Innovation Center that will be a sustainable, collaborative space where entrepreneurs of all ages will receive training, mentoring and coaching. The center will provide entrepreneurs and innovators 24/7 access to resources that they need to turn their ideas into reality. Read more.
February 7, 2019- $250,000 Google grant goes to planned Coles County entrepreneur site
MATTOON (JG-TC) — Google announced Friday morning that it will award an additional $250,000 Google grant to renovate office space at the Mattoon mall for a planned Cross County Innovation Center that will provide startup space for entrepreneurs. Read more.
Mattoon in Motion a Winner in the Google.org Impact Challenge!
Mattoon in Motion has been selected as a winner in the Google.org Impact Challenge! Our project, The Cross County Innovation Center, has received a $75,000 grant from the Google.org Impact Challenge.
Now the public has the chance to select the best of the ten projects to receive the People’s Choice Award and an additional $250,000 in funding. Anyone with a connection to Mattoon or the surrounding areas can show their rural pride and rally for this project by visiting g.co/illinoischallenge and casting a vote for the Cross County Innovation Center. Read More.
Mattoon in Motion Needs Your Vote for a $250,000 Grant
We are excited to share with you that Mattoon in Motion has been selected as a winner in the Google.org impact Challenge! The Cross County Innovation Center has received a $75,000 grant. We are now part of the Google.org family!!!
NOW the public has the chance to vote for Mattoon In Motion to receive the People’s Choice Award and an additional $250,000 in funding.
Update given on Mattoon community development projects
MATTOON — Student volunteers in Mattoon High School’s BIONIC program have been providing mentors for freshmen, transfer students, and other classmates in need for several years now.
The Mattoon in Motion Youth Development Committee hopes to bring BIONIC, “Believe It Or Not I Care,” to Mattoon Middle School next fall. MHS sophomore Anna Morton, a member of the Youth Council subcommittee, said eighth-grade volunteers with BIONIC could provide positive role models for sixth-graders making the big transition to middle school.
You can pick the winner of the Google.org Impact Challenge Illinois
Today, we are pleased to announce the winners, each of whom will receive $75,000 in grant funding and Google training to make their ideas a reality. One of these winners will receive an extra $250,000, and it’s up to you to pick who wins. You can select your favorite on our site today; voting ends on February 14. Read more here.
Google hands out $1M to Illinois non-profits
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS/WRSP) — Non-profits are competing for a $250,000 grant through the Impact Challenge Illinois.
Google.org will award $1 million to non-profits across Illinois with big ideas to create economic opportunities throughout the state.
10 non-profits will receive $75,000.
Vote to help group secure 2nd grant
COLES COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — An area organization helps local entrepreneurs start businesses, but it needs help too.
Mattoon in Motion helps local businesses grow. It was given a space in Rural King’s Cross County Mall to build the Cross County Innovation Center.
It will be filled with workspaces and offices for people working to stat their own businesses. The group got a $75,000 grant from Google to fund the first three phases of the project. Read More here
Innovation Center in running for Google grant
February 7th, 2019
MATTOON, Ill. (WAND 17) – Google is helping a central Illinois city start a mixed-use space for small businesses and startup.
February 7, 2019–Planned Coles County entrepreneur site wins $75,000, Google.org Grant
MATTOON (JG-TC) — The planned Cross County Innovation Center that would provide startup space for entrepreneurs in offices at the Mattoon mall has received a $75,000 grant from the Google.org Impact Challenge program.
Innovation Center organizers announced Thursday morning during an event at the Cross County Mall that a statewide grant competition selected 10 Illinois nonprofits, including the Cross County project, with ideas to create economic opportunities in their communities. Read More Here.
February 5, 2019–City Council approves Mattoon Bicycle Plan
MATTOON (JG-TC) –MATTOON — The city now has a long-term plan for improving bicycle travel along streets and on off-road trails, including expanding the Lincoln Prairie Grass Trail to the west side of Mattoon.
Regarding the bicycle plan, the idea originated with the Mattoon in Motion community planning effort. The Lumpkin Family Foundation then provided a grant last year for the Ride Illinois nonprofit organization to help the city develop a plan to make cycling safer and more inviting for those who ride for recreation or transportation. Read more.
February 4, 2019– Mattoon in Motion project develops a skilled workforce for thriving local economy.
MATTOON (JG-TC) –MATTOON- The mission of the currently named Cross County Innovation Center is to encourage, connect, and grow small and start-up businesses in the region by creating a mixed-use, co-working space that provides resources and opportunities to empower success. We are working toward developing this innovation center in an underutilized space in the Cross County Mall in partnership with Rural King. Rural King has generously donated nearly 6,000 square feet of space behind the former In Home Medical retail location.
October 12, 2018– Mattoon in Motion project continues to make great strides
MATTOON (JG-TC) –MATTOON-The Mattoon in Motion project, developed through a collaboration with the MAPPING program at Western Illinois University and the Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs, has been ongoing for over a year and is making great strides towards one of our goals as follows: “Mattoon is in motion with a well-trained and skilled workforce fueling a thriving local economy. Read more
September 22, 2018–Peace Corps Fellow helping with Mattoon community development
MATTOON (JG-TC) –MATTOON — The community’s new Peace Corps Fellow intern, Carlos Ortega, is helping with efforts to create a business incubator at the Cross County Mall and with other community development projects.
The Springfield native started serving in Mattoon in mid-September as part of a program offered through AmeriCorps Illinois and the Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs in Macomb. His 11-month posting resulted from an application submitted by participants in the Mattoon in Motion community planning effort. Read More…
September 14, 2018 — Mattoon in Motion project makes great strides
MATTOON (JG-TC) –The Mattoon in Motion project, developed through a collaboration with the MAPPING program at Western Illinois University and the Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs, has been ongoing for over a year and continues to make great strides toward its mission as follows: “Mattoon is in motion with a well-trained and skilled workforce fueling a thriving local economy. Youth are provided opportunities of self-discovery and are encouraged to get involved in the community. Residents and visitors enjoy an affordable, high quality of life with world-class healthcare and educational systems; a variety of cultural attractions, parks and recreation opportunities; and an array of housing options to meet the needs of a diverse population” Read More…
June 11, 2018 – Artworks to offer music, art, wine/beer tasting, more..
MATTOON (JG-TC) — The seventh annual Mattoon Artworks will be presented from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Heritage Park, 17th Street and Broadway Avenue, and at the Mattoon depot. Artworks is a daylong event dedicated to the arts presented by the Mattoon Arts Council.
Event organizer Janahn Kolden said the arts council is excited to bring back some favorite activities, including chalk artist Scott Barber, who will create a masterpiece throughout the day on the sidewalk in front of the depot; craft beer brewing demonstrations; and free art activities for kids.
….Artworks has been made possible in part because of community donors, including K.C. Summers, the JG/T-C, Common Links, Niemeyer Kubota Sales, Sound Source Music and the Mattoon in Motion committee. Activity co-sponsors include the Mattoon Public Library, Girl Scouts, Artsy Chic Boutique, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Walk to End Alzheimers Team and DanceLife Center. Read More….
April 18, 2018 – COLUMN: With great loss comes…opportunity
MATTOON (JG-TC) –Mattoon sure has taken the hits in the last week or so.
Douglas Nursing & Rehabilitation Center is closing in less than 90 days, leaving residents and staff alike looking for their next steps in life. The move has been noted as financially necessary.
Immaculate Conception Church’s institution, St. Mary School, will close at the end of the school year in May due to a decline in enrollment.
And, made official late Tuesday/early Wednesday, the Carson’s in the Cross County Mall will close due to its parent company’s financial woes.
Dang. I hope no one else kicks us while we’re down………We have to remember that we have a lot going for us right here in town.
Rural King now owns the Cross County Mall, and I have confidence that their guidance will mean good things to come. New businesses like the popular Starbucks have located here in recent months…
…Mattoon in Motion is cooking up plenty of good stuff for this community. Bike trails are being created and expanded in both Mattoon and Charleston. The Y is going strong. Lake Land College bustles with activity.
We have a real opportunity amid these losses to do something none of us ever do enough: appreciate what we have. Read more….
April 12, 2018 – Matton in Motion program continues to run strong
MATTOON (JG-TC) –The Mattoon In Motion program continues to run strong.
As a refresher, a group of over 60 community members has taken part in this program since early August of last year. The group has been working on ways to guide Mattoon into future success from multiple standpoints, including workforce development, recruiting new business ventures, promoting our area through tourism and events, development of our youth, improvements and enhancements to our parks and recreation opportunities, and future growth and revitalization of our area’s housing and rental space.
….The business development group has successfully secured a Peace Corp Fellow through the Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs. Carlos Ortega will be living and working in Mattoon as an intern for community development for 11 months starting Sept. 1 of this year.
The Peace Corp Fellow Program places individuals in the community based on a successful application and recruitment process. Mattoon was in competition with several other communities to utilize the services of the Peace Corp Fellow. Based on the quality of the application submitted, letters of community support and a very pleasant personal tour of Mattoon, we were chosen as the location by Carlos and The Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs.
The group is very excited about the opportunities that will present themselves with Carlos being able to dedicate his entire 11 months towards economic development and other opportunities to improve Mattoon.
Carlos is working towards a master’s degree in public policy and administration through Western Illinois University. He spent four years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya and Namibia organizing workshops and events with local businesses, town councils and health officials. He currently works with the Small Business Development Center in Macomb helping small businesses develop business plans and finding opportunities for young business professionals. Read more….
April 9, 2018 – Mattoon bike plan workshop set Wednesday
MATTOON (JG-TC) — Those interested in helping develop a long-term Mattoon bike plan are invited to take part in a brainstorming workshop Wednesday evening.
City officials and participants in the Mattoon in Motion community planning effort will hold this event at 6:30 p.m. in Burgess-Osborne Memorial Auditorium, 1701 Wabash Ave. The workshop will be held with assistance from Ride Illinois, an Aurora-based nonprofit organization that helps develop community bicycle plans. The Lumpkin Family Foundation has provided a grant for the Mattoon bike plan initiative. Read more…
March 28, 2018 – Public invited to brainstorm for Mattoon bike plan
MATTOON (JG-TC) — Community members are invited to help brainstorm ideas for developing a long term Mattoon bike plan during a workshop on April 11.
City officials and Mattoon in Motion community planning effort participants are working together on a city-wide bicycle transportation plan. They plan to kick off this work with the public brainstorming workshop at 6:30 p.m. April 11 at Burgess-Osborne Memorial Auditorium, 1701 Wabash Ave.
Mattoon in Motion Bicycle Committee member Sarah Dowell said community members are invited to bring their ideas for bike routes throughout town to this 90-minute workshop. She said their input will help officials focus route planning efforts and prioritize where improvements are made.
“It will be a hands-on workshop. Literally, everyone who attends will be involved,” Dowell said. “You will be given markers and highlighters and make lines on maps.”
March 9, 2018 – Community planning goals presented at town hall meeting
MATTOON (JG-TC) –MATTOON — Community development goals for Mattoon’s future were presented Thursday evening during a town hall meeting that drew approximately 250 participants to the Mattoon Area Family YMCA.
These goals have been developed as part of the Mattoon in Motion community planning effort that was initiated by the Mattoon Chamber of Commerce and the Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation. These two organizations obtained assistance from the MAPPING community planning program offered by the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University.
A cross-section of more than 80 residents was recruited to take part in a series of planning sessions that started last fall. They subsequently narrowed down their ideas to six long-term goal areas — workforce training, economic development, tourism promotion, youth development, parks, and recreation upgrades, and housing improvements. Participants were divided into committees to focus on each goal area.
Committee representatives gave presentations during Thursday’s meeting. For example, workforce committee member Ed Dowd said their group has surveyed businesses and industry about their workforce needs. Dowd, who is executive director of the Mattoon Chamber of Commerce, said the committee is now sharing the survey results with public school and higher education officials to help them develop training programs.
March 8, 2018 – Mattoon in Motion community meeting
MATTOON (JG-TC) – Photos – read more
March 6, 2-19, 2018 – Community planning group to hold town hall meeting
MATTOON (JG-TC) — Community members are invited to learn about long-term planning goals for Mattoon and how they can volunteer to help with these projects during a Mattoon in Motion Town Hall meeting Thursday evening.
Informational presentations, live music, and free refreshments are on the agenda for the meeting that is scheduled for 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Bock Gym of the Mattoon Area Family YMCA, 221 N. 16th St.
“I think it’s an exciting opportunity for Mattoon,” MAPPING program Manager Giselle Hamm said of Thursday’s meeting. “I think it’s a great opportunity for people to not only hear about this exciting vision but to also figure out what goal areas they are passionate about and what they can contribute to the project. It’s really an opportunity for other people to get engaged, as well.”
March 2, 2018 – Mattoon in Motion to hold community town hall
MATTOON (JG-TC) — Mattoon in Motion wants to invite the entire community to the Town Hall meeting in the Bock Gym of the Mattoon Area Family YMCA on March 8 from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Groups will be unveiling six unique programs and goals for our community. Many business leaders, Chamber members, educators, students, and civic leaders have spent countless hours over the past 6 months volunteering to help make this project successful and improve the quality of life and long-term success of our community.
As a reminder, the Mattoon Chamber of Commerce worked together with the Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation to find ways to help Mattoon prosper in the future. Through this collaboration, we were able to succeed in getting the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University to select Mattoon as one of only three communities included in their Management and Planning Programs Involving Nonmetropolitan Groups (MAPPING) program. The Mattoon Chamber of Commerce and other original committee members recruited a cross-section of over 80 residents to take part in the initial planning meetings last fall. The committee’s goal of the MAPPING program was to identify areas that can benefit from an organized effort on behalf of a diverse mix of citizens from high school students up to retirees in improving the quality of life in our community.
The six groups have been working hard on developing programs that will enhance Mattoon community’s ability to nurture youth, embraces parks and recreation, and focus on high-quality housing. The groups are also developing programs that include a thriving workforce, a robust economy, and regional promotion of our area through tourism.
The first project of the Workforce in Motion group involved over 400 businesses who were asked to complete a survey via e-mail regarding their facility’s ability to attain and retain their employees in today’s environment. The group was seeking information to help these businesses with the challenges they face with workforce issues now and into the future. They emphasized that the data will provide insight into what initiatives and partnerships are needed to help them succeed and the greater Mattoon area to prosper. The group received 140 responses which statistically is a great response rate of nearly 30%. Read More….
March 1, 2018 – Go! Guide: Arts and entertainment calendar March 2-8
MATTOON (JG-TC) – March 8th – 5:30 p.m., Mattoon In Motion Town Hall Meeting, Mattoon YMCA, 221 N. 16th St., Mattoon, www.facebook.com/MattoonInMotion/, 217-235-5661, firstname.lastname@example.org Read More….
February 6, 2018 – Mattoon bicycle route study in the works
MATTOON (JG-TC) — City Council members gave their support Tuesday evening to having the Ride Illinois nonprofit organization help develop a bicycle route study for Mattoon.
Council member Rick Hall made this request for support. Hall said bike trail expansions are being discussed as part of the Mattoon in Motion community planning effort, so participants in this effort contacted Ride Illinois for information about developing a bicycle route study.
Hall said Ride Illinois, of Aurora, will use traffic studies and other data to develop a plan that recommends key routes for bicycle trails through town and bike lanes between neighborhoods. He said they will develop this study with input from a local bike committee and a public meeting. Read more….
February 2, 2018 – Mattoon Chamber invites community to town hall meeting
MATTOON (JG-TC) – The Mattoon Chamber of Commerce wants to invite the entire community to a Town Hall meeting in the Bock Gym of the Mattoon Area Family YMCA on March 8 from 5:30 until 8:30 p.m. Mattoon in Motion committee members will be unveiling their group goals for our area.
The Mattoon Chamber of Commerce worked together with the Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation to find ways to help Mattoon prosper in the future. Through this collaboration we were able to succeed in getting the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University to select Mattoon as one of only three communities included in their Management and Planning Programs Involving Nonmetropolitan Groups (MAPPING) program.
The Mattoon Chamber of Commerce and other original committee members recruited a cross-section of over 80 residents to take part in the initial planning meetings last fall. The committee’s goal of the MAPPING program was to identify areas that can benefit from an organized effort on behalf of a diverse mix of citizens from high school students up to retirees in improving the quality of life in our community.
Last fall, community participants attended a series of public meetings at which they ultimately established six community planning goal areas for Mattoon: a thriving workforce, economic development, tourism promotion, youth development, parks and recreation upgrades, and housing improvements. They also formed subcommittees to develop projects related to these areas. One of the plans being developed include greater partnerships between local businesses and educational institutions to enhance the workforce, keep young people here in the community, fill open positions and recruit talent to Mattoon. Other plans include expansion of the paved bike trail, a potential dog park and ways to attract new visitors to Mattoon. Read More….
January 19, 2018 – Mattoon community planning projects discussed
MATTOON (JG-TC) — Participants in the Mattoon in Motion community planning effort plan to survey the needs of local businesses and develop a streamlined application for housing rehabilitation assistance programs.
These are some of the projects that participants are working on as they prepare for presenting Mattoon in Motion’s community planning goals during a town meeting that is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. March 8 at the Mattoon Area Family YMCA.
Last fall, participants attended a series of public meetings at which they ultimately established six community planning goal areas for Mattoon — workforce training, economic development, tourism promotion, youth development, parks and recreation upgrades, and housing improvements. They also formed subcommittees to develop projects related to these areas. Read More……
January 16. 2018 – Mattoon community planning group to meet next Thursday
MATTOON (JG-TC) — Participants involved in the ongoing Mattoon in Motion community planning effort are scheduled to meet Thursday evening.
Last fall, the participants established six community planning goal areas for Mattoon — workforce training, economic development, tourism promotion, youth development, parks and recreation upgrades, and housing improvements. They also formed subcommittees to develop projects related to these areas.
The Mattoon in Motion participants will discuss their initial progress and the challenges they have faced with their projects during the meeting at 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday in Lake Land College’s Webb Hall, room 081. They also will make plans for holding a town meeting to spotlight the community planning goals and they will discuss the organizational structure for Mattoon in Motion. Read More…..
November 17, 2017 – Mattoon community planning effort moving forward
MATTOON (JG-TC) — Participants in Mattoon in the Motion have completed their organizational sessions and are now preparing to hold a town meeting to spotlight the community planning goals that they have developed.
The approximately 60 participants also have divided into action teams to work on projects and strategies related to the six goal areas — workforce training, economic development, tourism promotion, youth development, parks and recreation upgrades, and housing improvements.
Mattoon in Motion is part of the MAPPING program, offered through the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University. Institute staff members helped lead the five organizational sessions, including the final one Thursday night at Lake Land College’s Webb Hall. Participants met with representatives of organizations that offer resources for helping meet community planning goals.
For example, Director Don Elmore of the Illinois Small Business Development Center in Champaign said his office offers counseling and other support services for prospective entrepreneurs and existing businesses. Elmore said he is glad to see that Mattoon is engaged in community planning. Read More…..
November 10 – Thriving workforce, economy are top goals for Mattoon planning effort.
MATTOON (JG-TC) — Having a thriving workforce and a robust economy are among the top six goals that have been developed as part of the ongoing Mattoon in Motion community planning effort.
The other top goals for Mattoon are becoming a regional destination for the arts and other special events, nurturing young residents through community involvement and skills development, enhancing parks and recreation resources, and encouraging the development of high quality housing to meet the needs and budgets of families of all sizes.
Participants in the Mattoon in Motion effort set these goals during three previous meetings and they started prioritizing strategies for accomplishing these goals at Thursday’s meeting in the Mattoon Public Library. For example, the parks and recreation goals team suggested sharing an inventory of current resources and publicizing efforts to develop a dog park, bike trail extension and other new resources. Read More….
November 4, 2017 – OUR VIEW (JG-TC) – Future ‘map’ for Mattoon in the works – Editorial
When you say “Management and Planning Programs Involving Nonmetropolitan Groups,” it doesn’t sound too exciting.
But think of MAPPING the future of your community, and you should perk up a bit.
On Oct. 19, the MAPPING process was started with the Mattoon in Motion community planning effort.
The local movement, part of the MAPPING program offered via the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University, is an ongoing push to map out future development in Mattoon.
To begin with, participants talked about some of the positives and negatives of life in Mattoon. At that first meeting, the focus was “Where are we now?” Dozens of community members attended and took part in numerous exercises, including what they love about Mattoon and what they don’t like.
Common themes that emerged included dwindling income levels, a need for more “progressive” leaders to take new approaches to economic development, and more, as the JG-TC previously reported.
The generosity of the community’s many civic groups and individual volunteers, plus the welcoming hometown feel of Mattoon as “not too big, not too small,” were praised. Demographics were examined, as were opportunities for retail growth.
The whole idea is for a cross-section of the community to help color in a map of sorts of Mattoon’s future. Long-range visions are discussed, and a plan of action for achieving the set goals is put in place.
The second MAPPING meeting yielded ideas such as a vision of Mattoon as a regional hub for workforce training and health care, a community that offers a wide variety of employment and cultural opportunities, as the JG-TC previously reported.
Participants were asked to offer “audacious goals” during that second meeting, with bold thinking encouraged. As one example, Mattoon Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ed Dowd said he envisions Lake Land College as becoming a regional center for vocational training and workforce development that draws a large influx of students and related development to town.
MAPPING members will meet each Thursday through Nov. 16. Read More….
October 20, 2017 – Community planning effort kicks off in Mattoon
MATTOON (JG-TC) – The Mattoon in Motion committee planning effort kicked off Thursday evening during a meeting in which participants discussed some of the positives and negatives of life in Mattoon.
The local planning effort is part of the MAPPING program, offered through the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University. Institute staff members led Mattoon in Motion’s opening meeting at Lake Land College, a session that had a focus of “Where are we now?” in terms of Mattoon community development.
Several participants voiced concerns about Mattoon having dwindling income levels among its residents, and having a need for more “progressive” leaders to take new approaches to economic development and other issues. Several more praised the generosity of the community’s many civic groups and individual volunteers, and the welcoming hometown feel of Mattoon being “not too big, not too small.” Read More….
October 12, 2017 – Community planning effort underway in Mattoon
MATTOON (JG-TC) — A cross-section of residents are scheduled to meet Thursday evening to kick off a Mattoon in Motion community planning effort.
The Mattoon Chamber of Commerce has been recruiting approximately 70 participants for this local effort that is part of the MAPPING program, offered through the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University. MAPPING, is a participant-driven planning process. This process involves local leaders and volunteers creating a long-range vision for their community’s future and a plan of action for achieving it.
Dowd said the chamber has signed up residents from many different professions, including agriculture, churches, education, healthcare, industry, and nonprofit groups. He said they also have signed up residents from a variety of demographic backgrounds, with ages ranging from high school students to retirees. Those interested in taking part can email MattoonInMotion@gmail.com.