Illinois publishes plan to improve economic development over next five years

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced its five-year economic development plan for the state. The plan outlines the DCEO's goals for increasing private-sector employment, improving business vitality and pays particular attention to regions in Illinois with high rates of poverty and unemployment.

The plan reports there are seven high-growth business sectors to concentrate on increasing jobs in: biotechnical, advanced materials, transportation and logistics, information technology and communications, machinery and fabricated metal products, agribusiness and food processing.

It also outlines seven strategies for improving economic development, including improving initiatives to attract businesses to the state, working on regional economic development, developing a stronger and more competitive workforce, driving innovation as well as modernizing the state's infrastructure. 

The DCEO hopes to launch 360,000 businesses in Illinois through 2019, and create 75,000 new jobs from outside the state. Additionally, the DCEO wants to create 10,000 new jobs in areas with the highest rates of unemployment, and increase the number of people participating in workforce training by 25 percent.

Publishing a written plan is a positive step for the state. While it introduces few changes compared to what the DCEO is already doing, it sets definite goals, according to Crain's Chicago Business. 

"To make Illinois one of the top destinations for business in the country, we must invest in our people, institutions, and infrastructure to create an ideal environment for business," Illinois Gov.  Pat Quinn said in the introduction to the plan. "We are already administering a range of successful programs that assist businesses and individuals across the state."

Businesses moving to or expanding in Illinois should work with Chicago recruiters, who have the time and skills to focus on finding the most qualified candidates for their open positions.