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Extension strengthens ties to central Illinois communities with new county director

Extension County Director Jessie McClusky

URBANA, Ill. – Across the state, University of Illinois Extension staff stationed in county offices strive to meet families, businesses, and communities where they are and provide solutions to local issues.

In January, Illinois Extension welcomed new County Extension Director Jessie McClusky to Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Moultrie, and Shelby counties.

“Jessie brings with her tremendous experience in building networks and partnerships and utilizing those partnerships to fund programs,” says Doug Harlan, Illinois Extension interim regional director for southern Illinois.

McClusky will guide and work with a team of educators and program staff to deliver research-based knowledge to extend university resources to communities in Central Illinois.

“I look forward to helping individuals and local organizations see what could be possible and working through Extension to help them be successful,” McClusky says.

Before joining Extension, McClusky worked for 10 years at Parkland College where she focused on career training and professional development courses. McClusky has served on several statewide boards, including Leadership Illinois and the Illinois Council for Continuing Education and Training. In 2019, she received the Forty Under 40 award for her achievements in leadership and community involvement.

McClusky has a master’s degree in higher education administration from University of South Dakota and a bachelor’s degree in recreation and park administration from Illinois State University.

One can reach McClusky at or (217) 543-3755.

Illinois Extension educators and specialists connect every county in Illinois with university research through in-person and distance-learning programming and other educational outreach. They work to provide businesses, families, and agricultural producers with the practical tools and resources needed to solve problems.

WRITEREmily Steele, Media Communications Coordinator, Illinois Extension

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.