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As the technology we use at work gets more advanced, learning and adapting to these changes becomes essential.

Research has shown that the economic growth of a state is directly related to the skills of its workforce, and the skills of the workforce are heavily dependent on the state’s schools.

The City of Carbondale is proud of our strong public school system, which is preparing our next generation to meet the challenges of a continually evolving workplace.

Carbondale Community High School (CCHS) students have been state finalists in the Speech and History Fair, Science Fair, Science/Engineering Team, and Skills USA, competing against larger and wealthier school systems.

In 2017, 42 CCHS students were named Illinois State Scholars, 10 were National Merit Commended honorees, and 5 became National Merit Finalists.

Carbondale is also home to Southern Illinois University (SIUC), a nationally ranked public research university and regional economic catalyst. SIUC’s faculty are cited experts in their fields and provide students the personal attention they deserve.

SIUC attracts national, international and local students, with nearly 4,000 attending from Southern Illinois, providing our residents access to a valuable education.

Studies show that workers in a local area with bachelor degrees or higher bring a wide range of benefits to themselves, their employers, and their communities.

It’s been shown that degree holders can expect to earn up to three times more income over a lifetime than individuals with only a high school diploma.

Local employers with access to skilled and well-trained employees are more profitable. Well-trained employees enable companies to be more competitive in a workplace that is becoming more technologically complex.

Southern Illinois residents who obtain a post-secondary degree experience lower unemployment, rely less on public assistance, and bring more tax revenue to local municipalities.

Educational institutions make a more direct impact on the local economy as well. SIUC contributes $166 million in annual salaries to residents living in the southern 23 counties of Illinois.

According to SIUC’s 2017-2018 Factbook, there are 3,700 employees living in Southern Illinois and working on the Carbondale campus.

A great many of SIUC’s employees live in Jackson County, but over 1,100 live in Williamson, Union, Perry, Franklin, Johnson and Saline Counties and bring a combined total of $53 million in SIUC salaries annually to their local communities.

In Franklin County alone, SIUC employees living there make an estimated $5.55 million contribution to the county’s economy. In a county where good jobs can be hard to come by, SIUC makes a significant impact on job creation, retail sales and real estate taxes.

Salaries are only one direct benefit that SIUC brings to Southern Illinois.

It is estimated that each SIU student brings over $10,000 in annual spending to Carbondale’s economy. The average age in town is just under 24 years old, 48% of the population has a bachelor’s degree or higher, and retail sales per person is over two times the statewide average.

Carbondale’s strong education system is one factor making it a great place to start a business. We are home to a wide range of successful employers, possesses amenities and attractions commonly found only in larger cities, and have access to a young, educated and motivated workforce.

If you’re interested in learning more about doing business in Carbondale, feel free to contact Steven Mitchell at 618-457-3286 or steven.mitchell@explorecarbondale.com

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Note: This article is a paid advertorial provided by the City of Carbondale.

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