Find It Fast


The Board





Seven County Chairs and City Representative Meet to Discuss Regional Economic Development

By at December 17, 2013 | 1:19 pm | Print

For the first time in decades leaders from the region’s public and private economic development sectors gathered to discuss how they can work together to promote a stronger regional economy.

County board chief executives from Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Will counties and the City of Chicago’s deputy mayor met last week at a summit hosted by the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank.

Cook County Board President Preckwinkle’s opening remarks laid the groundwork for leaders to find areas of common ground, explore ways to promote regional growth and create a workforce for today’s jobs.

“I want to recognize the work that each of the seven counties, the City of Chicago, CMAP and others, are doing to foster economic growth and increase productivity,” Preckwinkle said. “There are many opportunities to work together and we see regions that collaborate perform better economically. My goal for today is to determine whether there are areas where we can be more productive by working together rather than separately, or worse, competitively.”Cook County Board President Preckwinkle’s opening remarks laid the groundwork for leaders to find areas of common ground, explore ways to promote regional growth and create a workforce for today’s jobs.

During the meeting representatives met their counterparts from other counties and discussed areas of common interest. The meeting began with a presentation by William Testa of the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank to discuss the state of our regional economy.  Next, Robert  Weissbourd of RW Ventures shared examples of successful regional collaborations from around the country.  Following that, the group heard experts discuss freight and logistics, exports and food processing and packaging, all of which illustrated opportunities for collaboration and offered a starting point for conversations.

Randy Blankenhorn, Executive Director of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, and Theresa Mintle, the President and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce also attended the meeting.

“I cannot stress enough the importance of a collaborative approach to regional economic development,” DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin said. “We can accomplish more by working together to attract and retain businesses instead of working against each other. I truly believe that the suburbs are Chicago’s greatest asset and that Chicago is our biggest asset.”

The group plans to meet again in six months. A planning committee with representatives from each county will be formed to review the numerous suggestions and next steps.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Add to favorites
  • Current
  • email
  • Fark
  • FriendFeed
  • Google Buzz
  • LinkedIn
  • Orkut
  • Slashdot
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Agencies Economic Development Elected Officials Featured News Finance News President's Office , , , , , ,

Related Posts

One Comment

  1. Rocky, 2 months ago

    Why not merge the City of Chicago with Cook County?

    I know there would be a lot of resistance to this proposal, especially by those who reside in suburban Cook County.

    But, if the proposal is framed the right way, it could work.


    1. Chicago’s population would double from 2.715 million to 5.3 million people.

    Being the second biggest city again would give Chicago a boost in clout around the world.

    2. Money would be saved by combining agencies that currently duplicate services across 960 square miles of land.

    3. Increase in regional cooperation since the entire city/county would be on the ‘same page’ in terms of the provision of services – i.e. emergency response, law enforcement, waste management, utilities, etc. which would increase the efficiency and timeliness of services delivered to the general public.

    4. Eliminates competition and resentment between suburban Cook County and Chicago since they are no longer separate entities.

    Other cities have done this.

    Toronto Canada combined with several of its surrounding cities to grow from a city of over 600,000 people to 2.7 million people today.

    Indianapolis combined with surrounding Marion County to create a larger Indianapolis proper of more than 800,000 people, about the same size as San Francisco proper.

    Both cities have benefitted from the increased population ranking which increases it’s presence around the country and world (Toronto).

    If this were to occur in Chicago, then you could have more council members to cover the larger population and land area to ensure every district of this ‘New Chicago’ is properly represented so no areas are neglected.

    Both of these ideas may seem very radical, but if Chicago is truly to become a leading global city of change and innovation, I think these two ideas are necessary.

    We need to think outside the box and get really creative and revolutionary.

    A regional government is better than a bunch of fragmented governments.

    There are currently over 300 suburbs in the 11 county Chicagoland tri-state area with a population of 10 million people.

    We can decrease some of this by merging Chicago with the rest of Cook County.

    The above benefits would increase the quality of life for everyone in Chicago and Cook County.

    This truly would be a ‘New Chicago’ and could serve as a template for other cities and counties across the country to emulate.

Leave a Reply