City-County collaboration accelerates neighborhood economic growth

Five years after the Great Recession, too many neighborhoods still suffer from double-digit unemployment. While these neighborhoods have significant assets that could be used to spur regional economic growth, including land and human capital, new industrial investment has been lacking.

To attract industrial development to economically-challenged neighborhoods and create new jobs for residents, the City of Chicago and Cook County asked Civic Consulting Alliance to help create an "Industrial Growth Zones" program.

With the help of three pro bono partners -- McKinsey & Company, Zeno Group, and CBRE -- the team:

  • Interviewed stakeholders to identify barriers to site development;
  • Recommended program elements based on national best-practice research;
  • Developed an organizational model for the program;
  • Crafted a marketing and communication plan, to be executed in conjunction with World Business Chicago.

Our team relished the chance to work so closely with the City and County on such an innovative program. Growth Zones will generate economic growth and jobs in neighborhoods that need them the most.

The resulting pilot aims to accelerate economic development in seven areas over the next three years. Thanks to this City-County collaboration, property owners and industrial businesses will experience better service and will be able to more easily invest in Chicago, bringing new jobs and economic vitality to neighborhoods across the region.

For more information on this project, please contact Antonio Benecchi.

Our team relished the chance to work so closely with the City and County on such an innovative program. Growth Zones will generate economic growth and jobs in neighborhoods that need them the most.

Jason Hanson


McKinsey & Company