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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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April 1, 2014

Community Data Snapshots updated

CMAP's Community Data Snapshots have been updated with new information from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2008-12 American Community Survey. Read More About Community Data Snapshots updated
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
January 31, 2014

Springfield Update on State of the State Address and CMAP 2014 Legislative Agenda and Framework

Legislators convened in Springfield for the second spring session of the 98 th Illinois General Assembly on January 28, 2014.  This Springfield Update discusses the Governor's State of the... Read More About Springfield Update on State of the State Address and CMAP 2014 Legislative Agenda and Framework
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 30, 2013

Private Firm to Manage the Port of Chicago

On July 21, 2013, the City of Chicago, State of Illinois, and Illinois International Port District announced the selection of a private concessionaire to operate the Port of Chicago for a... Read More About Private Firm to Manage the Port of Chicago
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
July 3, 2013

Illinois Innovation Index Analyzes Regional STEM Supply and Demand

The quality of the region's labor force is critical for sustaining economic prosperity, as noted by GO TO 2040 . In today's global economy, future job growth will increasingly rely on the... Read More About Illinois Innovation Index Analyzes Regional STEM Supply and Demand
June 20, 2013

The Hidden STEM Workforce in Metropolitan Chicago

Metropolitan Chicago's tradition of a skilled and educated workforce has helped establish the region as a global economic center. One of the most important factors influencing the sustained... Read More About The Hidden STEM Workforce in Metropolitan Chicago
April 19, 2013

White House Releases FY 2014 Budget Proposal

On April 10, 2013, President Obama released his budget proposal for federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. Over the next ten years, the budget would increase revenues by about $1.1 trillion and cut... Read More About White House Releases FY 2014 Budget Proposal
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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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