The Illinois Diversity Council’s first newsletter of 2017 reaches you at a moment of considerable discord in the civic life of our nation. And yet, despite the many challenges we face, I find myself feeling optimistic about the future.

At this writing, the U.S. economy by most measures is faring quite well. Unemployment is below 5 percent, and average hourly wages have crept steadily upward over the past year, which suggests workers are beginning to realize the benefits of a stronger job market. And so far at least, inflation remains in check.

In this growth environment, the Illinois Diversity Council is working to help ensure that the benefits are shared widely. Our organization aims to enhance workforce diversity throughout the state, in part by helping individuals from all backgrounds improve their professional skills, network effectively, share ideas and experiences, and collaborate on strategies for success.

Of course, ILDC works best when we have active, engaged members dedicated to our important cause. I therefore encourage those of you who have been closely involved with our organization to participate to the fullest, to network with your fellow members, and to apply in your own organizations the insights you gain from your time with us.

ILDC is also more effective when our members speak up and share their thoughts on how we can make our great organization even better. Which ideas, policies or practices have you seen work well in your own organizations? Where should our efforts be focused in 2017? The board members of the ILDC want to hear from you.

We are looking forward to a busy and productive year thanks to the many volunteers who help the ILDC thrive. We are fortunate to have a talented and dedicated group of people working to help us advance our mission and vision, and we do not take them for granted!

My best for a successful and prosperous 2017.

Case McGee
Vice President, Human Resources and Communications
Archer Daniels Midland Company

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