From WILL - News Local/State -

Mayor Gerard Speaks About Job Growth In Champaign

Mayor Don Gerard

Mayor Don Gerard speaks at media forum about growing jobs in Champaign on July 8, 2014. (Bria Purdiman/WILL)

Champaign Mayor Don Gerard said the city is a leader in creating jobs. Gerard spoke Tuesday at the newly opened Hyatt Place hotel in downtown Champaign.

He was flanked by local business owners and economic development officials.

Gerard said people invest in Champaign because they believe in what the city can offer.

“In Champaign, we’re not waiting on Springfield. We’re not waiting on Washington, DC. We’re taking matters into our own hands; working with the government, with the private sector, to create opportunities, to create jobs, and to make things happen,” said Gerard.

The current unemployment rate in Champaign is 5.6 percent, which is lower than the national average of 6.3 percent. The city has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state.

Gerard said the city promotes economic growth, and with the support of the community and locally-owned businesses, this positive trend can continue.