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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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March 18, 2014

White House Releases FY 2015 Budget Proposal

A CMAP Policy Update looks at regional and national implications of the Obama Administration's proposed 3.9 trillion budget for federal fiscal year 2015. Read More About White House Releases FY 2015 Budget Proposal
February 18, 2014

Selecting and Updating GO TO 2040 Indicators

The GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan established a series of indicators and related targets to gauge implementation progress. As described previously , CMAP has initiated an update to... Read More About Selecting and Updating GO TO 2040 Indicators
January 10, 2014

CMAP Report Examines Opportunities for Reorienting State and Regional Economic Development Practices

Metropolitan Chicago is home to a highly diverse and globally competitive economy.  To sustain the region's economic vitality, the GO TO 2040 comprehensive plan recommends organizing the... Read More About CMAP Report Examines Opportunities for Reorienting State and Regional Economic Development Practices
November 14, 2013

New Report Provides More Complete Picture of Trade Activity

Exports are an important indicator of economic health and trends. Until recently, however, related data focused exclusively on international exports, rather than between metropolitan regions.... Read More About New Report Provides More Complete Picture of Trade Activity
August 13, 2013

CMAP Report Illustrates Importance of Freight and Manufacturing to Regional Economy

Metropolitan Chicago's clusters of specialized industries play a critical role in creating quality jobs and contributing to the overall regional economy's value-adding output, as noted by GO TO... Read More About CMAP Report Illustrates Importance of Freight and Manufacturing to Regional Economy
July 12, 2013

Computer Occupations Anchor Regional STEM Workforce

The recently released quarterly edition of the Illinois Innovation Index delves into metropolitan Chicago's science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce, examining employment... Read More About Computer Occupations Anchor Regional STEM Workforce
June 6, 2013

Recent Federal Grant Opportunities to Support Manufacturing

In recent months, a number of federal agencies have provided new grant opportunities for funding innovative manufacturing strategies and partnerships. The importance of manufacturing to... Read More About Recent Federal Grant Opportunities to Support Manufacturing
April 5, 2013

America Works Act Targets Manufacturing Workforce

CMAP's recent manufacturing cluster drill-down report found that metropolitan Chicago's manufacturers are in the midst of a strong resurgence, and they are well-positioned to compete in... Read More About America Works Act Targets Manufacturing Workforce
April 4, 2013

Infrastructure Remains a Vital Component of the Manufacturing Cluster

More so than most other segments of economy, manufacturing relies on an efficient transportation system for complex supply chain moves and access to new markets. Prior CMAP Policy Updates... Read More About Infrastructure Remains a Vital Component of the Manufacturing Cluster
March 21, 2013

Skilled Workforce is Needed to Grow Manufacturing Cluster in Region

Metropolitan Chicago's manufacturing cluster employs one in eight workers in the region. Although manufacturers lost one-third of their workforce between 2001 and 2011, productivity actually... Read More About Skilled Workforce is Needed to Grow Manufacturing Cluster in Region
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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).

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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