February jobless rate up in C-U, down in Danville over 2018

CHAMPAIGN — The unemployment rate in the Champaign-Urbana metro area increased slightly in February compared with a year ago, from 4.4 to 4.8 percent.

The rate was also up in 10 of the state's metro areas, unchanged in two and dropped in two others, including the Danville metro area, where it declined from 6.6 percent a year ago to 6.3 percent.

Aloft Hotel, by Marriott, now slated to occupy downtown Champaign lot

CHAMPAIGN — Plans are still on track to develop an urban-style hotel on a small downtown Champaign lot, but the planned hotel brand has undergone a change.

Developer Doug Altenberger has been working with Marriott International to make the future hotel at 401 N. Neil St. an Aloft Hotel, according to Rob Kowalski, the city's assistant planning and development director.

Habitat for Humanity of Champaign County names new executive director

CHAMPAIGN — Habitat of Humanity of Champaign County has chosen Chad Hoffman to be its new executive director.

The former director of the Mahomet Area Youth Club replaces Sheila Dodd, who resigned in November to work for the city of Urbana.

UI's expanded background-check program nets fewer job withdrawals

URBANA — Background checks prompted the University of Illinois to withdraw 25 job offers across its three campuses in 2018, just 0.2 percent of more than 13,000 checks conducted and 10 fewer than the previous year.

UI to hire hundreds more faculty over next 5 years to handle rise in enrollment

URBANA — The University of Illinois plans to hire hundreds of new faculty members across its three campuses over the next five years to accommodate rising enrollment and invest in strategic areas.

That would mean 168 new positions for the Urbana campus, in addition to faculty hired to replace professors who leave or retire.

Director of Champaign's youth-employment program shares vision for expansion

CHAMPAIGN — Looking to expand on an already-successful initiative, Jeanine Russell shared her vision for Champaign's Youth Employment Services program with local leaders Wednesday.

Family Service sets hiring fair Wednesday for part-time home-care assistants

CHAMPAIGN — Family Service of Champaign County is looking for reliable, mature, compassionate people for a part-time jobs as home-care assistants to older adults.

More information will be provided at a hiring fair set for 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday at Family Service, 405 S. State St., C. The event will include lunch.

Jim Dey | State report: Illinois' economy is strong, rife with problems

If circumstances turn sour in 2020 — as some economists predict — state government could be in deep financial trouble.

Those are among the conclusions contained in a February report by the state's Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability.

Family Checkbook | Money Smart Week celebrates area's free services

While spring weather is still wishful thinking, one event is coming early this year: Money Smart Week is March 30 to April 6. Many people, organizations and businesses come together to create free financial education events in communities throughout Illinois during Money Smart Week.

Danville's in a recession? Could've fooled us, officials and businesses say

DANVILLE — The steel framework of a 60,000-square-foot expansion rises above the horizon at Flex-N-Gate, where both the automotive parts manufacturing facility's footprint and workforce of 118 will double when the project wraps up this year.