Economic opportunities for a more robust and inclusive region

Northeastern Illinois enjoys many competitive advantages, from its diverse talent, specialized industries, and institutions of education, research, and culture to its extensive transportation network and position as North America’s preeminent freight hub. These assets support the most diversified large metropolitan economy in the U.S. and a vibrant quality of life.

But the region has experienced prolonged slow growth. Across numerous metrics, northeastern Illinois has consistently lagged behind peers and national averages. This loss in economic competitiveness has disproportionately impacted communities of color and other disadvantaged populations. 

ON TO 2050, our region’s long-range plan, includes strategies to reduce racial and economic inequities, improve access to employment, advance the region’s industrial strengths, and expand investment in export-oriented industries.