Alton Forward Story

Alton Forward is the nonprofit arm of AltonWorks, which is a social impact development company with a vision to revitalize downtown Alton, Illinois. The company is driven by the belief that a strong downtown is the foundation of a thriving city and a vibrant community can contribute to regional vibrancy. Alton Forward and AltonWorks work collaboratively to reposition the Greater Alton Area as a hub for regional revitalization and innovation.

Alton Forward was founded on the idea that community building requires more than economic investment. True transformational change requires social impact and investment in the people, organizations, and ideals of a community. We want our work to contribute to the overall effort to lift the community and our Great Rivers Confluence Region.

John and Jayne Simmons started Alton Forward to pursue meaningful social impact for the Alton area. Their commitment to community building, engagement, and service is the foundation of Alton Forward's principles and belief in Alton as a place that all are proud to call home.

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Our Vision

Alton Forward’s vision is for the Greater Alton Community to become a highly livable community for all its residents, with equitable access to services and opportunities. Alton Forward believes it can access the resources and build collaborative models of success to create transformational change for all economic classes within our community. Alton Forward, in partnership with AltonWorks, seeks to emerge as a ‘social business’ by using business practices to address and solve social problems, including the creation and sale of products and services. Our business objective is to advance livability innovation.

Our Values

We believe Alton can pursue economic and social development goals simultaneously, that these values are compatible, complementary, and reinforce each other to achieve livability and equity. This ideal is reflected in our beliefs in inclusivity and diversity within our organizational staffing, leadership, and program development. We believe in pursuing our goals in collaboration with and informed by our community. This work is accomplished with integrity, transparency, and developed in partnership across numerous community organizations and agencies. 

Alton Forward is made possible due to the initial contributions of John and Jayne Simmons, who are the primary benefactors behind Alton Forward and AltonWorks.