CMAP continues to convene the Regional Economic Recovery Task Force to identify strategies that support a strong economic recovery from COVID-19. The task force, launched in November 2020, includes working groups dedicated to economic development, tourism, and workforce. Leaders from across northeastern Illinois are meeting regularly to discuss how to build back a more inclusive, prosperous, and resilient region.
- The workforce group is developing strategies to coordinate access to jobs information — similar to the type of information provided by 2-1-1 services — and strengthen career pathways for good, middle-skill jobs.
- The economic development members are pursuing how to collaborate on market growth strategies for key industries and reduce intra-regional competition for private investment and jobs.
- The tourism working group will launch a marketing campaign to promote a safe return for customers and visitors. The campaign will be funded through unprecedented collaboration of regional partners.
But the task force is also looking at longer-term strategies to ensure everyone can contribute to and benefit from future growth. Members recently met with representatives from the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, Indy Chamber, and Corporate Coalition of Chicago to learn from their efforts to develop strategies for tackling structural inequity.
The events of the last year have only underscored the need to work together to strengthen economic vitality and quality of life in our region. After all, our people and goods move about our seven-county region on a daily basis. By connecting city and suburban leaders, experts, and advisors throughout northeastern Illinois, CMAP will continue to help the region agree on priorities, collaborate on solutions, and speak as one collective voice.