Peoria Number 3 for High Tech Growth

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The Greater Peoria region ranked No. 3 in the nation among the “Top 25 Metros for High-Tech Employment Growth, 2006-2011,” according to the new “Technology Works” report by Engine Advocacy. The study cited progress in medical and advanced manufacturing technology, an abundance of technology research activities and resources like Peoria NEXT, the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria and Caterpillar as key factors. Read the full report online at
Midstate CollegePeoria NEXT announced the award of a $50,000 research grant to VirtuSense Technologies. VST, headquartered at the Peoria NEXT Innovation Center, is developing simulation technologies to improve medical training via collaboration with emergency physicians at OSF HealthCare and UICOMP. The grant will allow the Bradley University/Peoria Robotics spinoff to continue its research.
Today is National Poinsettia Day! December 12th marks the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico, who shipped cuttings of the native Mexican plant to his South Carolina greenhouse in 1825. He later propagated the plants and sent them to botanical gardens around the country. Celebrate with a visit to Luthy Botanical Garden, where its annual Poinsettia Show is happening now through December 30th. Call             (309) 681-3506       for more info.
You still have time to take part in the 2012 JA Auction! Through December 16th, bid on more than 120 items, including VIP experiences and overnight getaways. All proceeds benefit Junior Achievement of Central Illinois. Help support the mission of empowering young people to own their economic success by logging on to

Generation Y Planning for Economic Success

Focus Forward CI is an asset-based economic development strategy designed to engage all populations in a regional effort to transform mindset, economic performance, environment and leadership in Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford and Mason counties. Leaders in this effort have identified Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based (S.M.A.R.T.) goals for creating this new strategy. These five-year goals for the region include:
  • increasing population to 386,475 by 2017 from 2010 Census figures of 375,218
  • creating more than 13,000 jobs
  • increasing nearly 20,000 job salaries by $5,000/annually
  • ramping up the number of bachelor and graduate degrees
  • increasing the 25-44 year-old age bracket from about 25 to 30 percent.
"Generation Y Planning for Economic Success" is a public meeting designed to engage the 25-44 population in the Focus Forward CI regional planning process. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 18, 2012 from 5:30 to 7:30pm at the Rhythm Kitchen Music Café, 305 SW Water St. in Peoria. For more info and to RSVP,
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Friday, December 14th @ Peoria Riverfront Museum
Peoria County and the City of Peoria will host a joint legislative breakfast from 9 to 11am, featuring state senators Dave Koehler and Darin LaHood and representatives Jehan Gordon-Booth, David Leitch, Don Moffitt and Mike Unes. For more information, call            (309) 672-6056      .
Friday, December 14th @ Landmark Recreation Center
Community Workshop Training Center (CWTC) will host its “Ugly Christmas Sweater Party” from 6 to 9pm. Come out in your worst holiday gear or purchase an ugly sweater from CWTC for $15 while supplies last. The event will feature a taco bar, cash bar, games, prizes and live music and dancing with Boogie Shooze. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at All proceeds benefit the programs and services of CWTC. Call                   for more info.
Friday, December 14th through Sunday, December 16th @ Five Points Washington 
The Peoria Area Civic Chorale presents An American Family Christmas at 7:30pm on Friday and Saturday, and 2pm on Sunday. Cost is $24/adults; $12/students. Call            (309) 693-6725       or email to order tickets. Find out more at
Tuesday, December 18th @ The Gateway Building
Ring in the holiday season with The Jim Markum Swing Band from 7:30 to 9:30pm. Cost is $10. Seating is limited, so call             (309) 494-6713       to reserve your spot.

Rotary Club of Peoria-North

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