The new Economic Development Corporation director, Daley Schwengel, was thrown a COVID-19 curve after being hired. She’s still in the batter’s box and waiting for her pitch.
“I started the position at the end of February,” Schwengel said. “One of the first projects I got involved with was a Census Grant through the Illinois Primary Health Care Association (IPHCA).
In November, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced the coordination with IPHCA.
Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced the Illinois Primary Health Association will serve Illinois for the state’s 2020 census effort. The organization joins over 20 organizations across the state who have been awarded grants to maximize Illinois’ success in the 2020 Census.
“Ensuring that every community across the state has the opportunity to let their voices be heard is a top priority for my administration,” said Pritzker. “By partnering with local organizations who have a strong presence in their communities, we can make sure Illinoisans in hard to reach areas aren’t left behind.”
In the Shelbyville area, that includes the Economic Development Corporation and its director, Schwengel.
“I was in the process of promoting and educating about the census before the COVID-19 crisis hit,” Schwengel said. “I was planning events to promote the census in the communities and get the forms filled out. Some people respond better to an event with personal help.”
Despite the interruption because of the health crisis, Schwengel is still getting those events planned for when she gets the O.K. to proceed.
“The deadline for the census has been extended,” Schwengel said.
The planned deadline for the self-response phase of the census was March 12-July 31. Now it is March 12-October 31.
Schwengel is promoting the census with billboards. There is one coming into to own on Rt. 16 from the east. One is at the junction of Rt 16 ans Rt 128 heading south towards Cowden, and there is scrolling message near Wilma’s on Main Street. grant money is providing for these advertisements.
“I have been meeting with mayors and village presidents,” Schwengel said. “We also had T-shirts made up.”
Schwengel is a 2010 graduate of Shelbyville High School. She graduated from Illinois State University in 2014 with a degree in Communication Studies. Upon graduation she was hired by the Urbana Business Association as a marketing coordinator.
Schwengel managed the association’s social media accounts, maintained weekly and monthly newsletters and facilitated Urbana’s street pole banner program. She also executed UBA events, including the Sweetcorn Festival, the Holiday Market and the Uncork Urbana Wine Festival.
“This is home and it’s good to be home,” Schwengel said. “Shelbyville and the Lake Shelbyville Area has a lot of potential for economic opportunity.”