As 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.