DSC_0036As part of The Chicago Community Trust’s 99th birthday, the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development was pleased to host one of the many On the Table events.  We invited colleagues from transportation, technology, planning, budget, and a variety of other perspectives to be part of this imaginative public-square.   We invited our guests to sit at designated tables, and our hosts facilitated very thoughtful and introspective conversations.  Together, we looked at questions such as:  What does the Chicago regional excel at?  How can this region’s concerned residents work together with government representatives and community leaders to improve the quality of life in the region?

Each group shared their ideas with the larger group.  Major themes included workforce development for the region is vital – matching employers with people who have the skills for today’s jobs.  Transportation and infrastrucutre improvement are essential.  Many people do not live near employers that are hiring.  One group noted that it really does “take a village” to provide a good quality of life for the residents of our region.

Herman Brewer, Bureau Chief, Cook County Bureau of Economic Development concluded by encouraging those in attendance to keep in contact and to continue to share ideas and solutions.  He saw this event as a beginning of a longer conversation about our region.


Courtney Pogue

Courtney Pogue, Deputy Director, facilitates one of the table discussions.

Mike Jasso

Mike Jasso, Director of Planning and Development talks to our group.

Group Discussions

Several group discussions took place.

Many conversations took place.

Our event had a room full of thoughtful and dynamic discussions taking place about Cook County and our region.

Posting Ideas

Participants posted their ideas to share with others.


Bureau Chief, Cook County Bureau of Economic Development

At the conclusion of our event, Herman Brewer, Bureau Chief, Cook County Bureau of Economic Development encouraged all participants to take our discussion as a first step and to continue the dialogue and sharing of ideas as well as solutions.