Economic Development

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We Will’s Economic Development pillar is intended to foster policies and actions that create a wealthier, more equitable economy for all Chicago residents and workers.

Economic development is a multi-faceted subject that is influenced by a variety of local, regional, national, and global factors that can range from the current weather to long-term international trade policies.

For We Will, economic development generally involves the quantity and quality of local jobs; opportunities for employment advancement; the production, delivery and consumption of goods and services; the competitiveness of local employers amid broader economic ecosystems; and related issues involving supply and demand, the costs of doing business, and regulatory issues that impact private enterprise at a local level.

Many of Chicago’s current and past planning initiatives sought to support a vibrant economy through public-private partnerships with individual businesses and business groups; through the allocation of financial incentives that create and retain jobs; through land use policies that create predictable environments for private investment; and through policy decisions that leverage the city’s unique assets involving economic sub-sectors like manufacturing and logistics, among others.

Though the city’s business climate has dramatically evolved and reinvented itself over that last 175 years, Chicago’s economy is comparable in size to entire countries. It remains the most diverse economy in the country, with no more than 14 percent of the local workforce employed by any single sub-sector. Characterized by a broad range of business services, retail, education, and industrial employment, Chicago’s diversity provides resilience when portions of the economy are negatively impacted by local, national or global trends.

Future policy improvements could reduce certain negative aspects of local business, such as pollution or other unhealthy impacts, while promoting more positive aspects, such as support for companies located in underserved neighborhoods, that employ un-der-represented populations, or provide skilled training and vocations.

Community dialog around the Economic Development pillar have emphasized the need for a people-centered approach to workforce development that will be refined by focus groups and research teams.

Public comments to date have involved the following themes:

  • Chicago’s image as a viable place for business should emphasize the city’s current and future strengths, especially its evolving goals to empower underserved and disenfranchised residents and neighborhoods.
  • Residents should be educated about the city’s role as a global leader in certain fields so they can align their own career plans with the workforce opportunities that Chicago offers.
  • Chicago should leverage the relationships between downtown and local neighborhoods by ensuring both are prioritized for job-supporting investments involving access, beautification, public safety, marketing, workforce housing, public safety, and other issues.
  • Partnerships between workforce development agencies, business organizations, chambers of commerce, schools, and local government should be strengthened to create a viable employment network for individuals seeking help for themselves or their businesses.
  • Maintenance should ensure all transit modes are safe, providing accountability and nurturing public-private partnerships to monitor current conditions and plans for the future.
  • Broadband access should be available in all neighborhoods, regardless of local income levels.

We Will’s Economic Development pillar is intended to foster policies and actions that create a wealthier, more equitable economy for all Chicago residents and workers.

Economic development is a multi-faceted subject that is influenced by a variety of local, regional, national, and global factors that can range from the current weather to long-term international trade policies.

For We Will, economic development generally involves the quantity and quality of local jobs; opportunities for employment advancement; the production, delivery and consumption of goods and services; the competitiveness of local employers amid broader economic ecosystems; and related issues involving supply and demand, the costs of doing business, and regulatory issues that impact private enterprise at a local level.

Many of Chicago’s current and past planning initiatives sought to support a vibrant economy through public-private partnerships with individual businesses and business groups; through the allocation of financial incentives that create and retain jobs; through land use policies that create predictable environments for private investment; and through policy decisions that leverage the city’s unique assets involving economic sub-sectors like manufacturing and logistics, among others.

Though the city’s business climate has dramatically evolved and reinvented itself over that last 175 years, Chicago’s economy is comparable in size to entire countries. It remains the most diverse economy in the country, with no more than 14 percent of the local workforce employed by any single sub-sector. Characterized by a broad range of business services, retail, education, and industrial employment, Chicago’s diversity provides resilience when portions of the economy are negatively impacted by local, national or global trends.

Future policy improvements could reduce certain negative aspects of local business, such as pollution or other unhealthy impacts, while promoting more positive aspects, such as support for companies located in underserved neighborhoods, that employ un-der-represented populations, or provide skilled training and vocations.

Community dialog around the Economic Development pillar have emphasized the need for a people-centered approach to workforce development that will be refined by focus groups and research teams.

Public comments to date have involved the following themes:

  • Chicago’s image as a viable place for business should emphasize the city’s current and future strengths, especially its evolving goals to empower underserved and disenfranchised residents and neighborhoods.
  • Residents should be educated about the city’s role as a global leader in certain fields so they can align their own career plans with the workforce opportunities that Chicago offers.
  • Chicago should leverage the relationships between downtown and local neighborhoods by ensuring both are prioritized for job-supporting investments involving access, beautification, public safety, marketing, workforce housing, public safety, and other issues.
  • Partnerships between workforce development agencies, business organizations, chambers of commerce, schools, and local government should be strengthened to create a viable employment network for individuals seeking help for themselves or their businesses.
  • Maintenance should ensure all transit modes are safe, providing accountability and nurturing public-private partnerships to monitor current conditions and plans for the future.
  • Broadband access should be available in all neighborhoods, regardless of local income levels.
Page last updated: 18 May 2022, 02:52 PM