Jackson County is one of the nation’s leading university growth centers, providing excellence in knowledge based business opportunities. Regionally, Jackson County is serves southern Illinois as the leader in employment, retail, healthcare, culture, education, entertainment and recreation.
Jackson County is located in southern Illinois and is home to over 58,000 residents. Carbondale is the largest municipality in Jackson County with a population of 26,231. Murphysboro serves as the county seat with a population of 8,184. Both Carbondale and Murphysboro have existing industrial and business parks that are ready for new developments.
Southern Illinois University Carbondale, a comprehensive public research institution with an enrollment of over 20,000 students, is the county’s major economic entity that employs over 6,500 persons. SIUC has developed programs to facilitate the technology transfer from the laboratory to the business world and provide Jackson County with economic development opportunities. The Southern Illinois Research Park is located on the SIUC campus. SIUC provides numerous educational, cultural, entertainment and athletic events to the region.
The Southern Illinois Airport is a leading general aviation airport in the Midwest. The development of SIUC’s $55 million Transportation Education Center (TEC) at the airport, expected to be completed in 2012, will house nationally recognized automotive and aviation programs and will provide opportunities for private automotive and aviation companies to utilize the resources of a major research university. The development of an industrial and business park adjacent to the Southern Illinois Airport is a major objective of Jackson Growth Alliance.
Jackson County is bordered by the Mississippi River, Shawnee National Forest, Giant City State Park and the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. It is one of the top outdoor areas in the country for hunting, fishing, hiking and other outdoor activities. The development of the wine industry in the county and the surrounding region helps make Jackson County a tourism destination location
Jackson County is rural in character with many urban amenities. Hometown pride is seen in the Murphysboro Apple Festival. National touring plays and concerts, world renowned speakers and top level NCAA athletic events appear at Southern Illinois University. Carbondale has been recognized as the Best Small City in Illinois, one of the Great Places to You’ve (Maybe) Never Heard Of by Mother Earth News, and one of the 101 Best Outdoor Cities in America. Small communities reflect the diverse landscape from Grand Tower on the banks of the Mississippi River to Campbell Hill in the heart of Jackson County’s farming region to Makanda in the Shawnee National Forest.
Jackson County, Illinois is located in southern Illinois and is easily accessible to the Midwest and Mid-South cities of St. Louis (1.75 hours), Indianapolis (4.0 hours), Chicago (5.5 hours), Memphis (3.25 hours), Nashville (3.25 hours), and Louisville (4.0 hours).
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