Chicago Regional Growth Corporation (CRGC) is the regional economic development organization that drives collaboration among public and private partners in order to generate inclusive growth and prosperity across Northeastern Illinois. Through CRGC’s leadership, the region will speak and act with one voice.

CRGC is comprised of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties and the City of Chicago. The region is one of the world’s top ten most competitive economies, at the center of global trade routes with major assets in transportation infrastructure, information technology, manufacturing and more.

Cooperation, inclusion and diversity are core values of CRGC. Partnerships are vital to its success. CRGC is a bridge from local to state and federal resources and integral to prioritizing, aligning and coordinating economic development activities to increase the region’s competitiveness.

Regions grow most effectively when they are coordinated, equitable and inclusive. With one voice and a collective approach to inclusive economic development, CRGC will build a stronger and more prosperous region.

Our History

A Strong Record of Working Together

In 2013, leaders from Northeastern Illinois convened a working group to identify opportunities for collaboration. Since then, the group has developed projects leading to growth, investment and the creation of quality jobs.

CRGC provides the infrastructure for the group’s ongoing collaboration and will increase the capacity of local economic development organizations to drive inclusive growth.

Our Role

Enhancing the regional ecosystem

Fill gaps in regional development initiatives

Provide programs and resources, such as export and FDI assistance for businesses, to increase local capacity, especially in economically distressed areas

Grow regionally strong industry clusters

Support key industries, such as metals and manufacturing, that are important to the regional economy

Connect assets and build stronger regional networks

Create networks of assets, such as the region’s freight transportation system, in order to leverage the region’s full potential

Build a strong regional identity

Develop a unified voice to promote the region’s diverse assets, economic strengths and opportunities for investment

Our Priorities

Building a stronger regional ecosystem

Global Programs

CRGC offers three programs designed to boost trade among small- and medium-sized companies: CRGC Export Grant, ExporTech, and Export Pitch Competition. All three programs were originally offered by Metro Chicago Exports, which was developed in 2014 by the working group that created CRGC in conjunction with the Global Cities Initiative, which helps metropolitan areas reorient their economies toward greater engagement in world markets.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is the second major component of CRGC’s global programs. A regional strategy to attract foreign investment will complement and improve coordination among existing local efforts. Forthcoming tools and programs will help local organizations build relationships with foreign-owned enterprises and improve the network of resources available to organizations and companies .

Industry Clusters

Convening regionally important clusters to discuss common issues and identify new opportunities for growth is a core component of CRGC’s work to grow the economy from within. CRGC supports the work of regional cluster initiatives, including Chicago Metro Metal Consortium, Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network, and Current.

One of the region’s primary strengths is the diversity of its traded sectors, and CRGC strives to support, promote and highlight robust local industries of all types.

Regional Systems

Our economy works on a regional scale, leading to complicated networks of people, infrastructure and other assets. CRGC will work to improve essential regional systems for the benefit of our economy. Since 2014, efforts to enhance the freight transportation network by streamlining permitting have improved transportation and benefited related industries.

As CRGC grows, it will focus on coordinating the region’s diverse assets, including systems that facilitate workforce development, innovation and mobility. CRGC will increase access to these systems and make them work better for the region’s residents and industries.

Our Leadership

Meet Our Board of Directors

Greg Bedalov
President & CEO
Choose DuPage

Lauren Cody
Corporate Vice President
McDonald’s Corporation

Kevin Considine
President & CEO
Lake County Partners

Steve Davis​
President & Chairman
The Will Group​

Derek Douglas
Vice President
University of Chicago

Xochitl Flores
Bureau Chief
Cook County Bureau of Economic Development

John Greuling
President & CEO
Will County Center for Economic Development

Scott Koeppel
Economic Development Coordinator
Kendall County

Jim McConoughey
President
McHenry Economic Development Corporation

Michael Moskow​
Vice Chairman & Distinguished Fellow
Chicago Council on Global Affairs​

Aneesa Muthana​
President
Pioneer Service Inc.

Alberto Paracchini​
President & CEO
Byline Bank​

James Roolf​
President
Joliet Banking Center at First Midwest Bank​

Mark VanKerkhoff
Director
Kane County Development and Community Services

Andrea Zopp
President & CEO
World Business Chicago