Champaign Economic Partnership’s first director to retire at end of year

Organization has played a larger role in economic development in the area during Bailey’s time there.

Marcia Bailey who has served as the director of the Champaign Economic Partnership since its inception in 2015 will be stepping down after serving the county for more than three decades.

Bailey said that she plans to retire from her current role at the end of the year and plans to spend time with family. Her time with the CEP has seen the organization play a large role in economic development in the area.

“I am going to enjoy some quiet time and spend time with my family. But I am not too good at sitting still for very long,” she said of her retirement, noting that she is not sure what the future holds.

The CEP was formed as collaborative effort between the City of Urbana, Champaign County government as well as local organizations and businesses in order to further stimulate economic growth and strengthen the area’s competitiveness in attracting investment.

The partnership grew out of conversations between Champaign County commissioners, Urbana city officials and members of the Pioneer Rural Electric Co-op.

Since its creation, Bailey has served as its first director and the organization has contributed to several large economic projects in the county since its inception in 2015.

Those include the Cobblestone Hotel in Urbana, which is under local ownership, as well as the ongoing process of converting two former elementary school sites and the former Douglas hotel in downtown Urbana into more than 50 units of senior living.

Other projects that the CEP has played a role in under Bailey’s leadership include the ongoing transformation of the vacant former Q3 building on Miami Street in Urbana into space for three businesses.

In addition to that, there was also the announcement in July by the Fire apparatus manufacturer the Sutphen Corporation. That business will be consolidating the three facilities it was using in the county into a new one that will be constructed in Urbana.

Those projects have included millions of dollars of investment to the county as well as the creation of new jobs.

Bailey said that the CEP will continue its commitment of strengthening existing businesses, encouraging the creation of news jobs as well as attracting more investment to the county.

Bailey said that she plans to retire due to working for the county in one capacity or another for decades. Before she became the director of the CEP, she had worked with Job and Family Services for over 30 years.

Baliey’s replacement has not been appointed yet and the executive board of the CEP is in the process of reviewing applicants.

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