Strategic Plans 

Partnering for Prosperity - An Economic Growth Action Agenda for Cook County was commissioned by Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle and prepared by the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA). It outlines an industry-cluster based strategic approach to economic development and job growth. View Plan:  Partnering for Prosperity.pdf

Special Initiatives 

Chicago Regional Growth Initiatives (CRGI)

Beginning in December of 2013, under the leadership of President Preckwinkle and 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 discuss opportunities for collaboration to further the economic growth of the region. As a result of these efforts, the region has launched the following special initiatives: 


Chicago Metro Metals Consortium (CMMC) is an initiative designed to support, strengthen and grow the region’s 4,000 metal manufacturing firms. This cluster represents $25 billion of annual revenues and 110,000 employees. CMMC offers metal manufacturers tools, services and resources to improve and grow their businesses through collaboration and networking, market intelligence and the promotion of the region as the national’s leading center for metal manufacturers. Members of the CMMC include all seven counties in northeastern Illinois, the City of Chicago and over 80 partners including research institutions, workforce agencies and training colleges, businesses and private member organizations. 

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) CRGI has been selected to develop a regional plan to attract and leverage foreign direct investment (FDI) as part of the Global Cities Initiative (GCI), a joint-project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase. FDI occurs when a foreign company invests in a U.S. business enterprise either by opening a new operation or through a merger or acquisition. FDI matters because the U.S. operations of foreign firms contribute inordinately to the economy. For example, FDI represents an increasing amount of private sector employment in the Chicago region, approximately 6% in 2011, FDI accounts for 12% of productivity growth, almost 20% of Corporate R & D and 20% of exports. (Source: FDI in Chicago, IL-IN-WI Global Cities Initiative, A Joint Project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase). The Chicago region will join Charleston, Indianapolis, Louisville-Lexington, Phoenix and Wichita in developing their foreign direct investment plans.

Metro Chicago Exports (MCE) is a pilot program designed to increase opportunities for small and medium sized businesses in the Chicago region. Despite being the nation’s fourth largest exporting region by volume, only six percent of the region’s small and mid-size firms currently export. 

Streamlined Truck Permitting The Chicago region is the nation’s freight and logistics capital of North America, handling over $650 billion of goods annually. Yet, there are more than 220 municipal size and weight ordinances impacting trucks. These regulations add hundreds of millions of dollars to the cost of goods and frustrate shippers, truckers, and customers. To maintain Chicago’s preeminent position and support our business community, the region has begun an effort to streamline the truck permitting process. As a result of this effort, CMAP has recently issued an RFP to recommend improvements to serve the needs of the region.