Overcoming metropolitan Chicago’s prolonged slow growth and uneven access to opportunity will require a shared vision for the regional economy. Initial success under the CRGC can help demonstrate the benefits of collaboration among the region’s political and economic development leaders. With sustained private sector engagement and institutional support, CRGC can play a critical role in focusing economic development activities and marshaling resources to address issues that cut across the region’s diverse industries and communities. Such initiatives include improving freight movement in the region, integrating data and information systems for rigorous market analysis, and assembling support for prioritized, multijurisdictional infrastructure investments. Regional coordination among economic development organizations (EDOs) should especially emphasize cluster-oriented strategies by convening business leaders and partners like anchor institutions to address shared, sector-specific challenges. This strategy also appears in the Prosperity chapter, under the recommendation to Pursue regional economic development.

Action 1

Continue to support CRGC’s initial endeavors by assisting in convening regional stakeholders, providing research and data, and securing financial support, as appropriate.

Implementers

CMAP and partners

Action 2

Develop a shared vision for the regional economy that articulates our strongest economic assets and competitive advantages in support of regional marketing and branding. CRGC or a similar entity can help to facilitate related analysis and strategy development.

Implementers

County and municipal EDOs

Action 3

Help county and municipal officials pursue shared goals across jurisdictional boundaries that complement their respective strengths and competitive advantages.

Implementers

CRGC or a similar entity

Action 4

Continue to research and articulate the benefits of intergovernmental collaboration through responsive data and analysis on the regional economy’s performance.

Implementers

CMAP