Military families and residents of defense communities asked to rank education, health care and work force issues
CARBONDALE – After convening listening posts in three Illinois defense communities, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today announced her office will continue soliciting input from residents and military families across the state. To extend her reach, Simon launched an online survey for individuals to share the issues facing communities that neighbor military bases or are home to National Guard and reserve units.
The community and virtual listening posts come as communities around the Metro East, Quad Cities and North Chicago areas struggle with the economic impact of sequestration and the possibility of future cuts.
“The listening posts enabled us to talk with residents, business owners, military families and others about how the state can help make their communities even better places to live and work,” said Simon. “It is important that residents who weren’t able to attend these meetings have a way to be heard, so I encourage people to participate in this survey. Together we can make Illinois the best state for military families.”
The survey, which is being administered in partnership with the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA), will close Friday, Sept. 6. The brief online survey includes questions pertaining to business climate, education, workforce training and quality of life, and takes less than 10 minutes to complete.
The Lt. Governor’s Office will work with the IIRA to compile the survey data with information from the three listening posts held in the Metro East, Quad Cities and North Chicago, where she met with military families, employees of the U.S. Department of Defense, veterans, employers and educators this spring and summer. Though the communities surrounding Scott Air Force Base, Rock Island Arsenal and Naval Station Great Lakes are different, each share concerns on issues such economic development and education opportunities for children.
Simon will then present the findings to the Interagency Military Base Support and Economic Development Committee (IMBSEDC), which she chairs. The IMBSEDC coordinates the state’s activities and communications relating to current and former military bases in Illinois, and provides advice and recommendations for base retention, realignment and reuse.
The survey can be found here