2016-2017 Publications


2017 Publications

Reform and Reaction: Education Policy in Kentucky

Investing in Rural Illinois: Promoting Economic, Workforce, Healthcare, and Educational Development

A Governor’s Executive Order requires that the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University (WIU) submit a report each year documenting the economic and social conditions affecting rural Illinois. The IIRA does this in collaboration with the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council (GRAC), chaired by the Lieutenant Governor. The 2017 report unfolds in four parts. Part one outlines the history of the GRAC. Part two summarizes major trends affecting rural communities in the State. Part three explains the formation and work of four working groups comprised of GRAC members. This section further outlines the policy priorities of each working group, and the efforts of each group to address these policy issues. Part four provides short vignettes documenting the achievements by GRAC members in promoting rural development in Illinois.

2016 Publications

Rural Illinois: Working Towards a Brighter Future

Each year, by Executive Order, the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University (WIU) is required to submit a report on the economic and social conditions of rural Illinois. The IIRA does this in consultation with the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council (GRAC), chaired by the Lieutenant Governor. The 2016 report unfolds in two parts. Part one outlines the history of the GRAC and summarizes four major trends affecting rural communities in the State. Part two explains the formation of four working groups comprised of GRAC members. This section further outlines the policy priorities of each working group, and the plans identified by each group to address these policy issues. The four main issues affecting rural communities described in this report include: population decline and aging, unemployment, wages and income, and workforce development.