WeAct Jobs Initiative
In late 2016, UAct engaged East Springfield community activist, Sam Johnson, and workforce development specialist, Bill McMahon, to work with the UAct President to begin phase 1 planning for a jobs initiative. The team studied workforce development models and interviewed major Springfield employers and work force development providers. UAct continues to work with Bill and Sam to integrate the idea and “lessons learned” into other UAct initiatives and advocacy but has decide not to pursue it as a stand-alone UAct initiative.
Manufactured Housing Exploration Group
Garvey/Tubman Arts and Culture Center
In 2016, Uact worked with Charles Scott, an experienced youth development professional and community activist, and John Crisp, artist, musician, activist and teacher to help them realize their long-time dream of opening a permanent arts and cultural center in East Springfield. UAct developed a pre-opening 12-month strategic development organizational framework/work plan to guide capacity building activities. The Center is envisioned as an innovative neighborhood hub where multiple organizations will co-locate.
Midwest Inland Port Tour and Forum
In September 2015, UAct and IL Ventures for Community Action (IVCA), hosted a 25-member delegation to tour the Midwest Inland Port in Decatur, IL. Delegation members included the Mayor of Springfield and other city leaders, community activists, business leaders and more.
UAct, IVCA and the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association hosted a second meeting in Springfield for 40 businesses, government and community leaders to spur creative thinking around how Springfield can take full advantage of its proximity to the Port. Meeting sponsors included the Illinois Trucking Association and Illinois Association of Realtors.
IFF/McCormick Baron Salazar
In October 2015, UAct hosted a meeting of 28 nonprofit and community leaders with IFF to explore opportunities for community and economic development assistance in Springfield. Follow-up meetings with IFF and 75 community participants hosted by UAct over two days in December, 2015 focused on affordable housing, healthy food access, arts/culture and more. UAct continues to work with IFF and local partners, exploring affordable housing options and healthy food access in East Springfield.