Simon: Reservation deadline approaching for Belleville listening post


Defense and Local Community listening post to hear from southwestern Illinois residents


SPRINGFIELD, IL – The deadline to register for the Scott Air Force Base Defense and Local Community Listening Post is just two days away, Lt Governor Sheila Simon announced today. All local residents, especially military families, civilian Department of Defense employees, veterans, employers and educators, are invited to register by the end of the day Wednesday to attend the listening post on Friday.

“This is an opportunity for all community members, businesses and Scott Air Force Base families to speak out about economic challenges and opportunities within this unique region,” said Simon. “I look forward to engaging with these residents and so we can better coordinate federal, state and local action to strengthen these communities.”

Participants at the listening posts will take a brief survey and then discuss issues pertaining to business climate, education, workforce training and quality of life. Simon will present feedback from the listening posts to the Interagency Military Base Support and Economic Development Committee (IMBSEDC), which she chairs. The IMBSEDC coordinates the state’s activities and communications relating to current and former military bases in Illinois, and provides advice and recommendations for base retention, realignment and reuse.

“It’s extremely important that the state of Illinois obtains local community input about the many relationships our area has with Scott Air Force Base and our other military support facilities and employers,” said Frank Miles, public member of the IMBSEDC. “The information obtained during these sessions will help guide the state, as it formulates efforts to grow and protect Illinois military assets. Scott Air Force base is the St. Louis area’s third largest employer and has a $3 billion dollar annual economic impact on our region.”

Simon will hold a Defense and Local Community Listening Post near the state’s three largest military installations in partnership with the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University. Simon and the Institute held similar listening posts last year in rural communities to survey residents about quality of life issues. Feedback from the meetings helped shape the Vision for Rural Illinois, a strategic plan that helped guide Simon’s work in expanding access to local food and strengthening emergency medical services in rural Illinois.

The deadline to RSVP to attend the southwest Illinois regional listening post is Wednesday, May 15. Residents interested in attending can find more information about the listening posts and RSVP here.  

DATE: Friday, May 17

TIME: 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

LOCATION: Southwestern Illinois College, Liberal Arts Complex – Rooms 2311-2313, 2500 Carlyle Ave., Belleville

NOTE: RSVP here by Wednesday, May 15.