Economic development topic at Labor Day breakfast

By WEEK Producer

August 29, 2013 Updated Aug 30, 2013 at 9:50 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- The Peoria Area Labor Management Council held it's annual Labor Day Salute Breakfast Thursday morning.

This year's feature speaker was Jim Baumgartner of Focus Forward Central Illinois.

The organization works with labor groups and management agencies to make the region a more attractive place for new business.

They also work to retain the existing workforce here in central Illinois.

"If we hit our goals there will be the creation of some 13,000 new jobs. There will be an increase in the 25 to 44 year old population, which we found in our studies to be declining. So the life blood of this region is leaving unless we make significant changes and make this area more attractive, "said Jim Baumgartner of Focus Forward CI.

Focus Forward Central Illinois has established a 5 year strategy to measure progress.

They are also working on a new 5 person economic development organization.

They hope to have that group in place by the end of the year.