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Industry Clusters

Metropolitan Chicago is one of the world's great economic centers. While the region enjoys a diverse mix of industries, it also realizes significant gains through its economic specializations. These industry clusters create high-quality jobs, spur innovation, and generate growth among numerous interconnected industries.

Industry Clusters Updates

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July 21, 2014

Clusters Indicators Highlight Importance of Freight, Manufacturing in Region

On July 21, CMAP released data and analysis on clusters indicators – intermodal lifts, manufacturing and freight cluster employment and industry location quotients, and manufacturing exports. Read More About Clusters Indicators Highlight Importance of Freight, Manufacturing in Region
July 15, 2014

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity releases new strategic plan

The plan outlines seven initiatives, including the promotion of economic development at the regional level. Read More About Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity releases new strategic plan
July 15, 2014

Community planning proposals

CMAP received 104 applications were submitted by 77 different applicants to the LTA program. Read More About Community planning proposals
July 14, 2014

Workforce Indicators Show Growing STEM Employment, Manufacturing Skills Gap in Region

On July 14, 2014, CMAP released new data and analysis on workforce indicators – educational attainment, workforce participation, the skills gap, and STEM occupations. Read More About Workforce Indicators Show Growing STEM Employment, Manufacturing Skills Gap in Region
July 7, 2014

New microsite tracks regional economic trends

CMAP's microsite will focus on four major economic themes: trends, industry clusters, workforce, and innovation. Read More About New microsite tracks regional economic trends
June 13, 2014

Manufacturing and Energy Changes Today to Influence the Next Five Years

Potential policy changes could increase energy conservation in the region’s manufacturing sector. Read More About Manufacturing and Energy Changes Today to Influence the Next Five Years
June 13, 2014

Draft GO TO 2040 plan update available for public comment through August 1, 2014

Submit comments on-line and attend open house meetings throughout the region for the draft GO TO 2040 plan update and FFY 2014-19 Transportation Improvement Program. Read More About Draft GO TO 2040 plan update available for public comment through August 1, 2014
May 29, 2014

Manufacturing communities partnership

On May 28, 2014, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the first 12 communities, including the metropolitan Chicago region , to be designated as Manufacturing Communities as part of the... Read More About Manufacturing communities partnership
May 27, 2014

Effects of Near-Term and Regulatory Changes on Energy Consumption in the Manufacturing Sector

This update reviews near-term policies and initiatives that will affect energy supplies and conservation in the region's manufacturing sector. Read More About Effects of Near-Term and Regulatory Changes on Energy Consumption in the Manufacturing Sector
May 20, 2014

OECD Examines Factors Contributing to Regional Productivity

New analysis investigates the effect that local governance, human capital, and freight activity can have on the overall productivity of metropolitan regions. Read More About OECD Examines Factors Contributing to Regional Productivity
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The first in a series of "drilldown" studies by CMAP, Metropolitan Chicago's Freight Cluster: A Drill-Down Report on Infrastructure, Innovation, and Workforce looks at freight as an industry "cluster" -- local groups of interdependent firms linked through their buyer-supplier relationships and need for particular resources, including labor pool and technologies.

The second report, Metropolitan Chicago's Manufacturing Cluster: A Drill-Down Report on Innovation, Workforce, and Infrastructure examines factors contributing to the strength of the manufacturing cluster in our seven-county region of northeastern Illinois.

CMAP has released The Freight-Manufacturing Nexus: Metropolitan Chicago's Built-in Advantage, which explores how the convergence of the national freight system in metropolitan Chicago offers distinct competitive advantages to this region's resurgent manufacturing cluster. The powerful "freight-manufacturing nexus" consists of three core industries: manufacturing firms, freight carriers, and logistics providers, which are responsible for transforming inputs from supply industries (including extraction and raw materials, power generation) into goods consumed by customer industries (wholesale, retail, and consumers).

The nexus report also found that communities near O'Hare and Midway International Airports have the region's strongest concentrations of combined freight-manufacturing activity. Building on this, CMAP's new O'Hare Subregional Freight-Manufacturing Drill-Down Report assesses how local conditions support the subregion's freight and manufacturing cluster and describes opportunities to ensure its continued success. The report outlines collaborative, multijurisdictional initiatives that can improve the competitiveness of the cluster, including workforce development, stormwater management, redevelopment planning, and improved truck freight routing and infrastructure.

GO TO 2040 — metropolitan Chicago's first comprehensive regional plan in more than 100 years — calls for strategic support of existing and emerging industry clusters to better compete in the national and international marketplace. The plan directs CMAP, with the support of its partners, to perform drill-down analyses into specific clusters such as freight, manufacturing, and biotech/biomed.

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