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Rahm Emanuel’s Innovative Plans to Grow Chicago

The city's mayor wants to take a regional path to growth, getting Chicago to cooperate with its 14 surrounding counties to capitalize on the area's collective resources. But will that work?

What’s the Latest Development?

A refreshingly long-term economic growth strategy, too often curtailed by term limits and political favors, is emerging from the mayor’s office in Chicago. As President Obama’s former chief of staff, Chicago’s mayor Rahm Emanuel knows a thing or two about politics. It is knowledge he will need to achieve his vision for a cooperative economic region that includes Chicago and its 14 surrounding counties. “The 14-county Chicago metro area, after all, would be the 20th largest economy if it were a country and is essential to the nation’s future.”

What’s the Big Idea?

A new report called “A Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs” leads the mayor’s initiative and is thought to be based in a 2010 economic conference hosted in Chicago by the London School of Economics. The report details ten strategies including, “becoming a leading hub of advanced manufacturing, further enhancing its position as a leading transportation and logistics hub, figuring out ways for employers to better articulate their employment needs, making Chicago a far more enviable tourist destination and making life far easier for entrepreneurs.”

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