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University Park

Promoting Economic Development

University Park at SIUE has connections with two very important economic development engines that drive the greater metropolitan St. Louis region. Established at SIUE in 1983, the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois brings together business, labor, government, industry, and education partners to promote economic development in the region. The Leadership Council recently relocated to Glen Carbon, IL. The Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce office is located in the Park.

The Leadership Council takes pride in fostering economic growth in all six counties in the Southwestern Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area with an emphasis on Madison and St. Clair counties being the larger of the counties. The Leadership Council seeks to strengthen public and private partnerships through synergic collaborations. This allows partners to focus on job growth and retention. According to Ronda Sauget, executive director, the Council’s proximity to SIUE and University Park could not be better to help it achieve its mission. “It is important to the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois to have strong relationships with the entities represented by the five pillars of our organization. The connection we have with SIUE fosters community partnerships, innovative thinking and strategic collaboration,” she said.

Its close proximity to the SIUE campus allows the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois to take advantage of many benefits, including access to student workers and interns. The organization's executive director also works closely with the University senior leadership team. Sauget said the Leadership Council has engaged faculty members to collaborate in important regional studies and works with senior administrators on key educational public policy initiatives.

The Ed/Glen Chamber prides itself as a trusted resource for local information. The membership-based non-profit organization strives to establish strong relationships between businesses and citizens of the Edwardsville and Glen Carbon communities. Dedicated to delivering event information, member job postings, and relocation information to new families and organizations, the Chamber’s mission is to advocate for the interest of business in order to promote the local economy and provide networking and educational resources for its membership.

Desiree Bennyhoff, the Chamber’s director, said the organization’s location in University Park is “a great central location for both communities.” She added, “It’s a great access point for SIUE parents to visit and learn more about the community in which their child will be living and learning.”

The Chamber’s affiliation with the University allows it to reach students and their parents through programs like SIUE’s freshman orientation, Springboard to Success, and numerous panel discussions, training opportunities and professional development programs throughout the year. The Chamber is able to provide relocation guides and field questions about both of the communities it represents. It works with the University during its annual fundraising event to reach local businesses to fund several SIUE student scholarships.


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