Regional leaders joined together to celebrate the formation of the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership, a first-of-its-kind united effort including the City of Chicago, Cook County, Lake County and five other counties across metropolitan Chicago, to drive a regional economic strategy that will deliver mutual benefits to partners, and strengthen Chicagoland’s economic force in an increasingly fierce competitive global market.
“I’m pleased to announce the creation of a regional economic development partnership, recommended by our City’s COVID-19 recovery task force,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, who also serves as chair, board of directors at World Business Chicago. “The Chicagoland region is a driving force of business in the nation. From its central location to industry strengths, this region is positioned for significant growth and continued emerging business driven by tech and innovation. I am grateful to World Business Chicago, the ideal partner to coordinate the varying interests of regional partners and the private sector, who will drive regional economic development into the future.”
With financial commitment from each of the partners totaling $1 million for the first in a three year pilot, World Business Chicago will manage the new Chicagoland Partnership and expand its services region-wide, complementing existing municipal and county programs.
“I have long championed an equitable, regional approach to economic development, and it has been a top priority at the County ever since I took office,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “I am proud to reach this historic milestone which helps advance our commitment to a more inclusive and equitable local economy.”
The Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership will focus on promoting the region’s many assets, including extensive freight infrastructure, diverse talent, strong exporting industries, and world-class institutions of innovation, research, and culture to develop a competitive global identity. Also, international engagement will be coordinated among the partners, and they will share and optimize resources like market research and asset mapping to achieve greater efficiency and scale.
“We know we will achieve better results working together. The ability to share information and pool our resources makes this partnership truly a win-win for DuPage, Cook, the collar counties and the City of Chicago,” said former DuPage County Chair Dan Cronin (2010-2022) who has long championed this effort. “If we want to truly thrive, a strong regional economic development effort is essential. The Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership will provide a critical component, showcasing the Chicagoland area’s many advantages for businesses considering a new location in our region.”
“Today’s announcement of the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership will not only move the Chicagoland region forward but become its distinctive competitive advantage, helping existing firms expand in the region and attract new corporations. The region’s future is bright,” said Michael Fassnacht, President and CEO, World Business Chicago, Chief Marketing Officer, City of Chicago.
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) set this work in motion two years ago, supported by a grant from the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust, at the request of the region’s county board chairs and the deputy mayor of Chicago. CMAP partnered with the Brookings Institution — a nonprofit public policy organization. The partners met over a series of convenings to develop the recommendations and achieve consensus on the Partnership’s principles and expectations. Those partners include:
- Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle
- DuPage County Board Chair Dan Cronin (Term ended in Dec. 2022)
- Kane County Board Chair Corinne Pierog
- Kendall County Board Chair Scott Gryder (Term ended in Dec. 2022)
- Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart
- McHenry County Board Chair Michael Buehler
- Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant
- Samir Mayekar, Deputy Mayor for Neighborhood and Economic Development, City of
- Cook County Bureau of Economic Development
- Choose DuPage
- Lake County Partners
- McHenry County Economic Development Corporation
- Will County Center for Economic Development
- World Business Chicago
- Private and civic sector partners
How Can Your Business Leverage this Momentum?
As the non-profit organization charged with fueling economic development in Lake County, Lake County Partners has been proud to draw on its 25 years of experience to help move this initiative forward. We have free resources, connections and knowledge that can help your business expand. Connect with us here to request support and see how we can help your business grow in Lake County, Illinois.