With some Chicago-area leaders voicing concerns that the city wasn’t providing a welcoming climate for business, the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago was prompted to produce a detailed economic assessment of the Chicago area that would guide policy initiatives. It turned to BCG for help.
Through its deep analysis, BCG found that the economy in the Chicago area had underperformed the national average over the previous 20 years. This lag had translated into a loss of 400,000 jobs in the city.
The data also showed that the city was losing share in virtually every job sector, including manufacturing. At the same, other cities had been experiencing growth, thanks to knowledge and innovation-oriented jobs, which had become key drivers of urban economies.
BCG’s comprehensive economic assessment produced new insights for leaders in the Chicago area and led to a heightened emphasis on attracting jobs in the knowledge and innovation economy.
The Civic Committee is helping local companies attract in-demand talent and is working with private equity firms to transform the area into an innovation hub. Start-up companies are being drawn to an area they see as an emerging incubator for innovation.
BCG throws all of its resources into a project. It’s not just about assigning a couple of people. I’ve seen BCG put a lot of its people into a space and then take a look at what’s being done—basically taking an inventory of who’s doing what and how it is being done. Then they use their organizational skills to say, “Here’s a way it could perhaps be done better.” BCG brings an ability to assemble, assess, and give structure.
The Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago is a private nonprofit organization of senior executives of the largest employers in the Chicago region. The group advances the social, economic, and educational well-being of the Chicago area. BCG has collaborated with the committee to perform an economic assessment that led to a new emphasis on attracting jobs in the knowledge economy.