What We Do

Programs for Economic Development

Illinois Value Added Sustainable Development Center (IVASDC)

IVASDC educates agriculture producers and economic development professionals regarding value-added agricultural opportunities for their area. Additional technical assistance is provided to these groups as they organize business ventures that will increase their income as well as expand employment opportunities in rural Illinois.

Illinois Cooperative Development Center

Illinois Cooperative Development Center (ICDC) helps cooperatives and other businesses in rural Illinois start up and succeed, through technical assistance, training, and publications. Assistance is delivered through a combination of Center staff, partner cooperative development agencies, and paid consultants, and is available free of charge. Cooperatives in all sectors are eligible for assistance, though the Center has particular expertise in value-added and sustainable agriculture, local foods, and renewable energy. ICDC is a program of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University and is funded by USDA Rural Development.

Illinois Small Business Development Center

The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Western Illinois University in Macomb is one of over 40 Illinois Small Business Development Centers and more than 1100 SBDCs nationwide which provide confidential business counseling at no charge to prospective and established business owners and inventors.

Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)

PTAC provides assistance to businesses that are seeking to sell to the government marketplace (Federal, State or Local). PTAC can assist a business on a broad variety of topics including electronic bid match, bid preparation, registrations, certifications, government specs, etc. The Illinois PTAC of Central Illinois is one of 10 PTAC offices in the state of Illinois. The center is hosted by the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University with the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce also providing sponsorship.

Institute Intelligence

Institute Intelligence provides consulting, research, and technical assistance services to businesses and organizations that need to make optimal decisions during turbulent times. Services include the development of new product models, strategy tools, marketing/communication strategies, and location decision models.


Rural Transit Assistance Center (RTAC)

The Rural Transit Assistance Center (RTAC) mission is to promote the safe and effective delivery of public transportation in rural areas and fulfills its mission through providing the Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP) for the State of Illinois. RTAC provides training, technical assistance and research to promote public and specialized transportation in rural areas. RTAC is also the clearinghouse for the Illinois Coordinating Committee on Transportation, created by Public Act 93-0185 to encourage the coordination of public and private transportation services.

Programs for Community Development

MAPPING the Future of Your Community

MAPPING THE FUTURE OF YOUR COMMUNITY program (Management and Planning Programs Involving Nonmetropolitan Groups) is a strategic visioning and planning process whereby local residents of rural communities create a long-range vision and a plan of action for achieving it.

Peace Corps Fellows Program

The two-fold mission of the Peace Corps Fellows Program in Community Development is to train the next generation of community development specialists and to assist small towns with the implementation of community projects.

Midwest Community Development Institute (CDI)

The Midwest CDI is a comprehensive professional training program in community and economic development. CDI provides hands-on practical training. Each CDI session lasts five days and the complete CDI program consists of attending three sessions, referred to as Year One, Year Two, and Year Three. Once completed participants become certified as a Professional Community and Economic Developer.

Alternative Energy

Illinois Wind

Illinois Wind is a website dedicated to information about using wind as a source for renewable energy.

IVASDC Biodiesel Program

IVASDC Ethanol Program