There are many ways to quantify the advantages Elk Grove Village offers manufacturers — such as the nation’s largest consolidated business park, a location adjacent to O’Hare International Airport, and standing as second only to the City of Chicago in Illinois manufacturing jobs.Now there’s new, compelling data showing how EGV’s established labor pool, supply chains, and infrastructure are also a distinct plus.
The report reveals EGV has a unique “dual specialization” in both manufacturing and freight — interrelated “clusters” that together add up to an ideal setting for high-quality jobs, innovation, and growth in both industries.
So what are clusters … and why do they matter?
The Freight-Manufacturing Nexus
CMAP defines a cluster as “interdependent groups of firms and related institutions that gain benefits from their proximity and interactions.”
Elizabeth Schuh, Senior Policy Analyst at CMAP, says businesses in a cluster typically are linked through the buyer-supplier relationship; share common resources and technologies; have a similar labor pool and institutions; and rely on specialized infrastructure. “Colocation leads to increased economic activity,” she says.
While prior CMAP research explored the synergistic relationship between freight and manufacturing, the organization’s latest study focused exclusively on that relationship in the O’Hare subregion.
The report states: “Freight and manufacturing are most concentrated in communities directly adjacent to O’Hare.” Factors cited include access to major rail, interstate, and air transportation resources and a skilled labor pool.
EGV’s Dual Advantage
Within the subregion, EGV is among a select few where manufacturing and freight both outpace state averages.
“Elk Grove Village and communities adjacent to O’Hare are definitely a nexus for the most concentrated freight and manufacturing activity,” Schuh says, adding that areas beyond EGV “build on that” for a strong base throughout the subregion.
Further, the CMAP report points to EGV’s redevelopment success. “Core communities … specifically Elk Grove Village, are experiencing high levels of activity as companies redevelop aging industrial facilities,” the report reads. “Elk Grove Village has proactively planned for and marketed redevelopment opportunities.”
That proactive approach extends across all areas. EGV strategically creates business development programs, supports workforce development, invests in infrastructure, and cultivates a “Beyond Business Friendly” culture. All support sustained growth of both the manufacturing and freight clusters over the long term.
Meanwhile, for businesses within the seven-county area it serves, CMAP is a valuable resource — particularly as a data provider and in identifying opportunities to support the success of the region’s manufacturing and freight clusters. Schuh says, “We make sure we’re on the ground getting feedback that ensures our recommendations really help support the success of the region as a whole.”
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is the comprehensive regional planning organization for the northeastern Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will. By state and federal law, CMAP is responsible for producing the region's official, integrated plan for land use and transportation. The agency's innovative GO TO 2040 planning campaign develops and implements strategies to shape the region's transportation system and development patterns, while also addressing the natural environment, economic development, housing, education, human services, and other quality-of-life factors.
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP)233 South Wacker DriveSuite 800, Willis TowerChicago, IL 60606312.454.0400cmap.illinois.gov
For more information about Elk Grove Village and Clusters, download this brochure.