The City of Newton has adequate utilities systems. Electric, water and sewer systems are owned and maintained by the City. Natural gas is provided by Ameren/CIPS. The City of Newton is located at the intersection of Illinois Routes 33 and 130. Also located in Jasper County is Illinois Route 49, which is approximately 8 miles east of town. Interstate 70 and 57 are within 25 minutes of the community. The nearest commercial airport is Coles County Memorial Airport (35 miles/minutes). The nearest public airport is Effingham County Memorial Airport (20 miles/minutes).
The closest international airport to Newton is the Abraham Lincoln Capital
Airport (99 miles/minutes). The closest waterway for the transport of goods is
the Mississippi River, which can be accessed in St. Louis, Missouri (114 miles/minutes). The Illinois Central Railroad and the Indiana Railroad provide rail service in Newton.
Access to passenger railroad service is available in Effingham, Illinois or Mattoon, Illinois. The Amtrak service connecting Chicago-Memphis-New Orleans passes through these stations. The Rides Mass Transit District provides demand-responsive public transportation routes, including door-to-door services available to all Jasper County
The local economy is driven by agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (NAICS 11), which is not surprising due to the three state recreation areas, several privately-owned fishing/hunting businesses and large agricultural-base found in Jasper County.
This sector accounts for 7.49 percent of all employment in the county, which
makes Jasper County unique when comparing it to other neighboring counties and
to the State of Illinois. Two hundred and thirty-two businesses are classified
in this industry sector, employing over 400 people. Other Jasper County
industries that have higher percentages of employment than the state include:
Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; Construction, Wholesale trade;
and Other services, except public administration.
In 2012, over 2,447 full and part time jobs were available in the county. The average yearly earnings per job (at a median wage) were $35,993. In comparing wages paid to workers in Jasper County to those paid to workers in the East Central Illinois nonmetropolitan area (includes Clark, Clay, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Iroquois, Jasper, Lawrence, Marian and Richland counties), Jasper County has a higher average median wage than the region as a whole.
When studying worker flow patterns, we utilized info provided by the U.S. Census Bureau to discover that 1,389 workers were employed by businesses inside Newton city limits in 2011. Of those, 72.7 percent did not live within City limits. Only 379 of those workers resided in Newton, while 1,100 lived outside of the community. However, over 75 percent of all workers resided within 24 miles of their workplaces. Of those employers, manufacturing (20.8%), healthcare and social assistance (14.8%), and educational services (11.8%) make up the largest employment sectors when
looking at the number of jobs created and sustained.
The City of Newton is home to several existing industries. The oldest of which is celebrating its 100 year anniversary this year. Newton has seen industries come and go throughout the years but many have held strong and the City has been successful at filling empty buildings with new producers. Several of these industries participated in an interview in conjunction with the development of the City of Newton Industrial Analysis Report in May of 2014. Overall, all companies are
very satisfied with their location and operation in the City of Newton.
Most of the interviewees believe Newton would need to pull from surrounding counties to provide an adequate workforce for new or expanding
industry. Overall, the industries are very satisfied with the workforce
currently employed, but state the issue lies in finding those individuals. The
interviewees spoke of their workers as loyal, hard-working, trustworthy and
dependable. Many are working with area community colleges and universities to
recruit workers and develop training programs. Most interviewees stated his/her
company uses one or multiple staffing agencies to assist in the hiring of
workers. Some interviewees reported many of their workers are coming from
Richland and Crawford counties. Most of the current industries
implement waste stream management controls by recycling by-products or selling
them for use in other production processes. Two interviewees did express
concern on the opportunities for future plant expansions due to their location
and the unavailability of adjacent land.
Major inputs needed for the current production at the Newton plants include: soybean oil, resin, concrete and aggregate, fiberglass, electrical components, U.S. steel, coal, ink, paper, natural and synthetic brush/broom bristles and fibers, and broom/brush handles and bases. The inputs are coming into the City from all over the world.
The City of Newton is also part of the South Central Illinois Regional Planning and Development Commission (SCIRPDC) region. In 2011, this area, including Clay, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper and Marion counties, was subject to an industry cluster analysis performed by Purdue Center for Regional Development. Click here to view this report.
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