Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership Issues First Annual Report

In celebration of it’s first anniversary, the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership has issued an Annual Report, detailing its work and wins in the region. Read on for the introduction letter written by Greg Bedalov, Chair of the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership and Kyle Schultz, Chief Growth Officer at World Business Chicago, on behalf of GCEP’s executive leadership, and to review the full report.

One year ago, we embarked on a remarkable journey with the launch of the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership (GCEP). Our mission was clear – to unite and showcase the global competitiveness of the Chicagoland region, leveraging our diverse talent, advanced infrastructure, renowned institutions, and top-ranked industries. Today, we proudly share with you the GCEP’s 2023 report, a testament to our collective efforts and an invitation for you to join us as we further define the future of the region.

In just twelve months, the GCEP has emerged as a dynamic force. Our success lies in the active collaboration among county partners across the region. From international engagements like the Collision Conference in Toronto and the Chicago Sister Cities International 50-year anniversary business delegation trip to Japan, to local initiatives such as Chicago DeepTech Week and the Chicago Venture Summit series—we have cultivated a thriving ecosystem that extends far beyond our municipal or county borders. At the time of the launch, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle remarked, “We all do better when we all do better.” This continues to represent the spirit of this collaboration. With equity and inclusivity as the cornerstone of economic development, we are contributing meaningfully to the economy throughout Chicagoland in many ways, including:

The most recent rankings in the WSJ’s “2024 Best Colleges in the US” report was based on three main factors: Student outcomes, including graduation rates, graduates’ salaries, and how those salaries offset the cost of attaining an undergraduate degree at the College; the learning environment, including how well graduates feel they were prepared for a career; and diversity of the students and faculty.

  • The GCEP is growing the regional economy. In the last year, 8,576 jobs were created or retained because of GCEP, which generated $715.9 million in direct and indirect worker earnings.
  • Sharing strategic initiatives, programming, and public funding opportunities which has led to increased trust across partners in the region, and a more collaborative approach to drive growth.
  • Providing data driven analysis and research that will continue to define future opportunities for economic growth across the city and seven county region.

In March 2023, Site Selection Magazine named Chicagoland the Top U.S. Metro for Corporate Relocations and Expansions, consecutively for ten years, and named four GCEP counties among “America’s Best Counties.” Last year, the WBC Research Center published the first-ever Regional Asset Map—a comprehensive guide that provides vital economic data. WBC’s support of GCEP includes producing monthly economic dashboards, quarterly updates, opinion pieces, and other vital assets. Furthermore, WBC’s leadership continues to enthusiastically deliver presentations, participate in panel discussions, and advocate for the strengths of Chicagoland as a prime business destination to businesses throughout the world.

We invite you to become a champion of the greater Chicagoland region. Consider this report as not just an overview, but a call to action. Here is a digestible glimpse into the strides we’ve made, the milestones we’ve achieved, and the vision that will continue to propel us forward. As a champion, you have the power to amplify and talk about the competitive advantages of Chicagoland. Join us as we solidify Chicagoland’s reputation as a global hub for innovation and the epicenter where the future of business is incubating.