Strengthening Rural and Downstate Communities

Ever since he took office, JB has worked tirelessly to serve all of Illinois, committing to growing our rural and downstate communities. That’s why he’s worked to support our state’s farmers, small towns, and rural areas.

  • Launched Connect Illinois to expand broadband internet access to the entire state
  • Invested $15 million in two downstate Manufacturing Training Academies, an electric vehicle jobs partnership with Rivian at Heartland Community College in Normal, and the Advanced Manufacturing Center at Southeastern Illinois College
  • Committed state resources and support to build the “game-changing” Cairo Port project, projected to create 500 good-paying jobs and over $100 million of economic activity per year for Southern Illinois
  • Opened new markets to expand farming opportunities for Illinois’ agricultural industry
  • Granted a gaming license for a casino-resort in Carterville
  • Initiated and passed the Rebuild Illinois capital program building thousands of miles of roads and bridges throughout Downstate Illinois
  • Launched pilot program to support quality improvements for child care providers in rural Illinois communities
  • Increased opportunities for youth outdoorsmanship by expanding the apprentice hunter program and access to hunting statewide
  • Expanded wind energy production to create jobs and revitalize communities with new investment in rural areas
  • Invested over $100 million to build new buildings and upgrade existing ones at Southern Illinois University
  • Provided more than $50 million for airports in Quincy, Champaign and Rockford
  • Secured a $2.2 billion commitment from Taiwan to purchase Illinois corn and soybeans
  • Expanded skills development with new investments in vocational training and career and technical training in high school
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