GO TO 2040 addresses the diverse factors that shape our region's business environment. It includes recommendations on industry clusters, innovation, workforce, and tax policy. CMAP's work plan addresses these and other economic issues:
- Industry Clusters. The region's specialization in several industry clusters leverages competitive advantage, creates quality jobs, spurs innovation, and positions the region to compete in the global economy.
- Innovation. Development and commercialization of new technologies is key to producing goods and services that are faster, cheaper, and better.
- Workforce. Our region's competitiveness depends on a reliable pool of highly skilled workers, including industry clusters such as manufacturing and freight.
- Tax Policy. Current state and local tax policies often create incentives for development patterns that are contrary to GO TO 2040 goals.
Metropolitan Chicago is one of the nation's few truly global centers. With a gross regional product of over $500 billion a year, the region's dynamic economy ranks third largest in the United States. Indeed, metropolitan Chicago's economic output not only outperforms other regions, it also surpasses that of many nations: if our region were counted as its own country, it would have the 20th largest economy in the world.
Yet in today's evolving global economy we cannot take this economic vibrancy for granted. As a global region, metropolitan Chicago competes not only against domestic centers but with markets around the world. Trends over the last ten years show the region's historic productivity advantage over the rest of the nation and globe has narrowed, as the region must respond to stark new economic realities.
To maintain and enhance metropolitan Chicago's position as a global economic hub GO TO 2040 lays out a vision that leverages our strongest assets as a blueprint for sustainable economic growth. The residents of northeastern Illinois are foremost among these assets, serving as the region's greatest renewable resource. The Chicago region has a deep pool of talented workers, yet we need to ensure our education and workforce development systems train not for the jobs of yesterday, but for those of tomorrow. On the workforce page of the economy section CMAP presents key indicators following GO TO 2040's emphasis on an educated and skilled labor force, paying particular attention to how skills are changing in an evolving economy.
The region's skilled workforce grants metropolitan Chicago an extremely high quality of life. By fostering economic innovation metropolitan Chicago can remain competitive while preserving its high standards of living. Innovation is the development and commercialization of new technologies that area faster, cheaper, and better than what came before. In the innovation page of the economy section CMAP tracks the region's progress transforming new ideas into concrete, marketable products.
While metropolitan Chicago enjoys a diverse mix of industries across almost every sector, it also realizes significant gains through its economic specializations. These industry clusters leverage local advantages, create quality jobs, spur innovation, and position the region to compete in the global economy. The clusters page of the economy section reports important trends in the freight and manufacturing clusters, two of metropolitan Chicago's strongest specializations.
Finally, the tax policy page of the economy section looks at current state and local tax policies compared to the vision articulated in GO TO 2040. While the private sector drives economic growth, this page explores how efficient governance and policy can provide a supportive climate conducive to investment and growth.