Community and Economic Development (CED) programming helps community leaders, residents and their communities build capacity . . . to make timely and effective decisions, use information wisely, engage the entire community, and work together better. 

We follow the Principles of Good Practice from the Community Development Society, as we develop and deliver programs across Illinois, to address current issues and community needs.

For more information about what Illinois Extension’s CED team can do, contact a team member in your area.

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Rural communities can plan for smart growth by building on existing assets and taking a regional approach

LGE and Rural Partners to host Pam Schallhorn for program on youth retention strategies for rural communities

LGE and Rural Partners to host Age Friendly Community models for rural Illinois

Opportunity Zones in Illinois to be highlighted on May 6 webinar

Local Government Education webinar program awarded regionally for vital assistance to local governments, communities

Rural Partners and LGE to examine local impacts of Trump-Biden transition at 100-day mark

Rural Partners and LGE host Illinois Housing Development Authority to discuss local needs

Webinar to highlight Farm Family Resource Initiative in six Illinois counties

Local Food Systems webinar aims to help communities improve economic situation, and health

Central Illinois communities convening on coal plant transition planning

Morton Housing Study exemplifies great housing strategies for Central Illinois

Local officials gain federal impact perspective in free session

CED collaboration celebrates Dr. King's legacy, vision

Local Government Education: Annual update on new legislation impacts

Green infrastructure can promote social justice, fight climate change

November webinar will cover election results and impact on rural America

UIS and UIC public administration experts on local government finance during and after the pandemic

Illinois Extension holds new workforce development event for Canton high school students

Recently Released Whitepaper Outlines Recommendations and Barriers for Equitable and Just Green Infrastructure Projects

Pilot program grant to strengthen Illinois 'Southern Five' rural economies

New report shows UI Extension generates value 10 times its budget

CED Specialists on U.S. Census | Stand Up and Be Counted (SoundCloud)

Census deadline looms; response impacts funding, relief assistance

Extension reminds communities about federal funding for disaster relief

Illinois Extension’s Local Government Education program will welcome Citizen’s Utility Board, Elevate Energy, Ameren, and ComEd in a three-part webinar series on energy efficiency policy and programs

The new North Central Region Water Network report, led by the University of Illinois Extension's Tony Heath and Lisa Merrifield, details how communities and extension professionals can implement GI programs that incorporate both equity and GI goals.

Public Service Motivation - Learn what motivates public servants on August 6 (Local Government Education Webinar)

Local Government Education webinar helps governments apply for state funding to cover COVID-19-related expenditures

Illinois Extension Local Government Education Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) Webinar

Illinois Extension partners with Illinois system Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) to offer webinar on fiscal and economic impacts of COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois 

Illinois Extension offers webinar on racial equity in local government 

Webinar Series on Opening Restaurants during COVID-19 - Scaling UP Illinois Restaurant Operations: Financial Considerations

Scaling UP Illinois Restaurant Operations: Safety Considerations 

COVID-19 Response: Local Government Cutback Budgeting Webinar

Illinois Extension parters with DCEO, Benton Institute, to offer Broadband Leadership Series (May 13 - June 3)

Guidance for local governments on OMA compliance

What's Next: legal challenges related to COVID-19 for local governments

Webinar offers best practices for disabilities in workforce development

Sustainable Communities

Sustainable Communities connects Illinois communities to University of Illinois scholars and students, bringing the latest research findings to decision-makers, and helping researchers understand and address Illinois' most pressing sustainability challenges.

Local Government Education (LGE)

Leadership academies, webinars, and workshops are designed to strengthen the skills and increase the leadership capacity of elected and appointed officials. The webinar series offers timely information on topics that are important to community leaders, decision makers, agency staff, and government officials.

Community Broadband Development

Informational sessions on funding opportunities, broadband development education, and community cohort planning sessions are delivered in partnership with the Illinois Office of Broadband and the Benton Institute for Broadband and Society. These resources help organizations and individuals plan, communicate, and build networks to enhance work towards their community broadband goals.

Community Survey Tool

Communities can not only turn to state- and county-level data for decision-making; they can also learn from primary data collected right in their own community. This online tool provides information on how to survey your community, a repository of questionnaire templates that you can edit and modify to meet your needs, and information on where to find secondary data that could also help you think of additional questions to ask your community.

Community Planning

Illinois Extension helps counties and communities develop comprehensive economic development initiatives and engage in participatory planning processes.

Create Bridges 

Create Bridges is a two-year pilot program designed to strengthen the economy of a rural, economically distressed region by building capacity in the retail, accommodations, tourism and entertainment sectors. 

Building Entrepreneurial Communities

Illinois Extension helps local officials and business leaders create economic development strategies and policies that support entrepreneurs and business development.