EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County Board Chairman Alan J. Dunstan today announced Austin Korns has joined the county’s economic development team as an economic development specialist. Korns previously was an economic development planner with America’s Central Port.
Korns will report to Frank Miles, administrator of the Madison County Community Development Department, which coordinates the county’s economic development program. In his new position, Korns’ responsibilities will include the identification, administration and coordination of economic development programs in Madison County, including project feasibility, eligibility and implementation in the areas of manufacturing, agriculture, tourism and transportation, among others.
“Other than the rehabilitation of the levees, which protect more than 150,000 residents and thousands of businesses from the Mississippi River, the economic development of Madison County is a top priority,” Dunstan said. “Austin Korns is an exceptionally bright individual who strengthens our economic development team considerably.”
Dunstan said economic conditions have significantly improved in Madison County.
“Madison County’s status as one of the premier intermodal distribution centers in the country and the availability of a skilled workforce is helping drive economic development in the county,” he said. “We are seeing steady increases in new construction, unemployment has dropped to 5 percent and corporations are again looking at growth opportunities. Now is the time to aggressively pursue economic development in Madison County.”
Korns joined the America’s Central Port team in 2015 after graduating summa cum laude from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in public administration and policy analysis.
“Madison County is aggressively pursuing economic development opportunities and the addition of Mr. Korns is important to that effort,” Miles said. “Austin (Korns) brings a skillset necessary to position our county for success, particularly his skills in targeted marketing, data analysis and projections. This is a very positive addition to the Madison County economic development team.”
Korns, an Edwardsville resident, is a native of Aledo, a small community northwest of Peoria. He graduated from Aledo High School.