Membership Investment

You, your business and your employees are valued stakeholders in the Vermilion County community. All of us on the Vermilion Advantage team are committed to helping you and your business succeed. We are working hard every day to build and sustain the economic foundation of Vermilion County.  But to effectively make that happen, we need you on our team, sharing your skills, knowledge and experience. In return, we can help you grow your business and build a skilled workforce. Please take a moment to review the services available to you as a member of Vermilion Advantage. We are a public-private, non-profit organization under the tax laws of a 501(c) (6). Our revenues are derived from our business members. Less than 20% of those member dollars represent public-sector institutions.

Membership Advantages

"We have benefitted from the marketing opportunities Vermilion Advantage provides. By getting our business and special events listed in the weekly "What's Happening in Vermilion County" email, in the monthly newsletter and by word of mouth from members and the staff, we know that our membership pays for itself and more. I'd recommend any retail establishment to become a member. It's a great investment for your business and community." 

Dawn Taylor, Sleepy Creek Vineyards

Over the years, we have worked to create more opportunities for existing local businesses to work together and to connect with new businesses. Some of the tools we have created for our members in order to accomplish these goals:  

  • Flyer insertion - we can place promotional flyers about your business in our monthly Vermilion Advantage newsletter that is mailed to all 460+ members and is included in business prospect recruitment 
  • Articles about your company can be featured in our VA newsletter; we also feature new young professionals who have moved here for their careers and youth returning to our community for jobs you may have made available to them
  • Monthly member roundtable luncheons provide you with opportunities for business networking 
  • Wednesday e-newsletters go out online to our members weekly, disseminating important information about your business to all of our members.
  • Chamber Dollars provide you with opportunities to reward employees for safety, attendance, quality, performance, and other accomplishments while encouraging shopping here in Vermilion County
  • Membership surveying services can help you identify specific information or trends that may be helpful in your business, HR, safety, marketing, environmental practices, etc.; we can survey and turn results around in as little as 48 hours, based on your needs.
  • Lunch-N-Learn,  Breakfast Briefing or Business After Hours are opportunities for you to raise awareness about your business by hosting an event specifically designed to share information with members, or for you to attend and learn what others have to offer you 
  • Our energy partner (APPI) can help you bid out your electrical usage and seek cost savings under Illinois’ deregulation laws 
  • Our weekly “What’s Happening” announcements each Friday ensure you and your employees keep up on all of the many events occurring over busy weekends right here in Vermilion County. 
  • Our Human Resource or Safety Councils meet monthly to share information about laws, new procedures, and how others are dealing with these technical areas of doing business
  • Our community marketing materials, database statistics, and/or website information can assist your needs, when you are recruiting new workers and new professionals;  we customize these materials based on individual family needs and interests  
  • Our Vermilion County Job Board gives you opportunities to find new employees and to post your hiring needs on one of the most popular job sites in East Central Illinois. Your postings are automatically forwarded to IDES for you, if you wish, broadening your exposures and reducing your time and efforts. 
  • Our educational / workforce development programs are offered to all public or private schools in Vermilion County.  Our Manufacturing, Logistics, Healthcare and Technology/Service Workforce Clusters fund numerous STEM-based educational enhancements programs targeting our youth to keep them engaged in education and to help them focus on their future work worlds, including Gateway to Technology, Project Lead the Way and high school programs like Industrial Technology and Logistics, designed to put students on a path to a career at graduation
  • Our Workforce Network also provide numerous scholarship opportunities for Vermilion County students to earn Associate and Baccalaureate degrees that they then re-pay to the community by returning to our community upon graduation and working for two years at local business and industry in a variety of disciplines, including  Engineering, Manufacturing Technology, Accounting, Computer Networking, Physical Therapy, Pharmacy, Electronic Technicians, Physical Therapy Assistants and Warehousing Associate 
  • Our Leadership Tomorrow program has for 30 years offered a unique opportunity for your employees to engage in team-building, leadership skill development and experience an up close and personal look at the history of Vermilion County and how our community functions in areas from agriculture to industry, and from criminal justice to healthcare, education, and beyond.  Over 600 graduates are now volunteering and leading our county.  
  • Our professional employee recruitment process  assists local HR professionals as they  customize materials and work with new recruits to address their specific needs for relocation consideration, including information packets, a website, a current executive rental option listing, and assistance with new recruits in trailing partner employment.

Why Vermilion Advantage

Our mission is the retention, expansion and recruitment of business in Vermilion County

  • The Vermilion Advantage team works every day to create an environment conducive to, and competitive for new business development. Keeping our finger on the pulse of our existing businesses is a key step in that process
  • Through the extensive database we maintain, we have critical information at our fingertips to respond to new Requests for Proposals that come to us frequently from the state, consultants, or directly from prospects.

Commitment to Existing Business - full-time support for expansion and retention of local businesses and customized support for professional recruitment. 

Retail Support - encouraging businesses and individuals to think and shop locally and fill retail leakage opportunities. 

New Business Development - daily activity and network building to attract new businesses to the area. 

First Face - for all of Vermilion County focusing on the overall economic development of the area. 

Business Advocate and Catalyst for Change - keeping Vermilion County current on local, state, & national legislative issues and business concerns. Demonstrated expertise and knowledge base for business development. 

Leadership - host for regular meetings of councils for area mayors, intergovernmental infrastructure planning, safety managers, human resource directors, CEO's, and many others. 

Community & Business Mediator - serving as the impartial business organization to mediate and solve complex community issues. 

Data Resource - recognized information development and dissemination center for area businesses and prospects. 

Educational Liaison - providing leadership in developing and implementing workforce clusters and programs linking business and education. 

These are just a few of the direct and indirect services that are available to you and your business as a valued member of Vermilion Advantage. If you have questions or you would like more information on membership and how you can join our team, please feel free to contact us at 217-442-6201. Machelle Dykes coordinates our membership efforts, and she can be reached at