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Workforce

For our region to prosper economically, and sustain a high quality of life, it needs an educated, skilled labor force. The quality of the labor force is probably the single most important factor driving future economic prosperity.  The region is in constant competition with other metropolitan areas to attract both businesses and skilled workers. 

Workforce Updates

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October 9, 2014

GO TO 2040 updated in accordance with federal law

Please visit www.cmap.illinois.gov/2040 for all GO TO 2040 plan materials. Read More About GO TO 2040 updated in accordance with federal law
August 14, 2014

Alternative Unemployment Measures Help Contextualize the Economic Downturn

CMAP's regional economic indicators microsite features key measures of metropolitan Chicago's economy and, where applicable, compares these measures to peer metropolitan areas.  The... Read More About Alternative Unemployment Measures Help Contextualize the Economic Downturn
July 28, 2014

Indicators Shed Light on Chicago Region’s Innovation Economy

On July 28, CMAP released data and analysis on innovation indicators -- venture capital activity, private-sector R&D employment, technology transfer, and patent production. Read More About Indicators Shed Light on Chicago Region’s Innovation Economy
July 22, 2014

Improved GO TO 2040 Case Study Library

Completed Local Technical Assistance projects and GO TO 2040-related work are highlighted in a new interactive map. Read More About Improved GO TO 2040 Case Study Library
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 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 26, 2014

Evaluating Housing and Transportation Costs in the CMAP Region

Very few parts of the region are affordable in terms of housing and transportation costs for low-income households. Read More About Evaluating Housing and Transportation Costs in the CMAP Region
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 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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Regions that lack a strong labor force will have difficulty competing because, for most industries, labor force quality has become more important than physical assets or location.  GO TO 2040 recommends that the region's education and workforce development systems be improved to create a high-quality labor force for our future.

However, there are significant challenges to achieving this goal. Not just in the regional but across the U.S., student achievement has been declining compared to other industrialized nations. Access to high quality educational opportunities is quite inequitable, with dramatic differences in achievement across racial, ethnic, and economic lines. The workforce development system – which is meant to provide people with skills they need to succeed in the workplace, is complex, with a variety of programs, initiatives, and funding sources. Because of the complex number of players, coordination and communication between both the education and the workforce development systems is limited, and the actual needs of employers and workers are often not fully reflected. As the rate of economic and technological change grows, individuals increasingly need to learn new skills and be retrained multiple times, meaning that effective, adaptable, and coordinated systems for education and workforce development are increasingly important.

Examples

Manufacturing Partnership Strategic Plan for the Golden Corridor.   In 2009, the Village of Hoffman Estates helped form the Golden Corridor Manufacturing Group (GCMG) to represent and organize manufacturing stakeholders in the area. With the help of CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program, the GCMG is seeking ways to expand and develop programs and resources that expose students and their parents, as well as school administrators, to the newly evolved manufacturing field and its career opportunities.

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