GREDF continues push for housing, workers at annual meeting

shafer schoen

Allen Shafer, left, takes over from Payne Schoen as GREDF board chairman. — Photo by J. Robert Gough

QUINCY — The theme at this year’s GREDF Annual Meeting was while progress has been made, more work needs to be done.

A crowd of about 75 people attended Tuesday’s meeting at the Oakley-Lindsay Center.

GREDF President Kyle Moore, Quincy Mayor Mike Troup and Adams County Board Vice-Chair Bret Austin all talked about the housing shortage, the worker shortage and how both go hand-in-hand.

Moore discussed the recent GREDF study that was funded by the State of Illinois, Quincy and Adams County that a need for 1,500 housing units, whether they by homes or apartments, in Adams County.

Moore said the study showed five things needed to be done to tackle the housing issue:

  • Implement incentives to reduce the cost to build new units.
  • Adopt a program to rehabilitate older homes.
  • Housing programs are needed countywide in every one of our cities and villages
  • Create a homebuyers revolving loan fund to lower the cost to borrow.
  • Partner with local banks and community groups to raise awareness of existing programs.

And in an effort to continue to train and expand the local workforce, GREDF is launching the “Great River Career Pathways Landscape” in partnership with the Tracy Family Foundation, The Community Foundation and CFM Foundation. 

Career Pathways Landscape will work with area school districts to highlight the current opportunities in Career and Technical Education. Employers in the manufacturing and healthcare sectors will also review state approved industry recognized credentials that can be taught at high schools and seek their input on what credentials a high school student could be taught that would be most valuable to them.

Troup listed the top 10 achievements for the City of Quincy, which included the addition of the 34-unit townhouse complex at 8th and Jersey, as well as infrastructure improvements and the addition of Target and United Alloy as new employers to the city. Troup also said Target helped show significant progress in the City’s latest Sales Tax Report.

Moore said Quincy and Adams County figure into the State’s six-year infrastructure plan with work on Broadway and a new Memorial Bridge on the list.

Moore said the Quincy’s Calling initiative has helped bring in 216 families since its inception and 127 employees are working at jobs in Quincy and Adams County.

And while 73 new businesses came to the area this year, GREDF also added 15 new members to its rolls in 2023.

Moore also recognized Angela Caldwell, who spent 10 years at GREDF before leaving to work for Bella Ease, and long-time GREDF employee Charles Bell, who passed away last month.

Allen Shafer, CEO of First Bankers Trust, will be the new GREDF board chair, replacing Payne Schoen. Brian Canfield, CEO of Blessing Health and JWCC President Bryan Renfro will be joining the board while for Blessing CEO Maureen Kahn, Jeff Van Camp of Chaddock and Mike Ridder of Adams Networks will be leaving the board.

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