World Business Chicago Ranked One of Nation’s Top Economic Development Groups


World Business Chicago (WBC) today was named among the nation’s “Top Economic Development Groups” in Site Selection’s “Best to Invest” issue. The honor comes on the heels of Site Selection ranking Chicago the “Top Metro” in the U.S. for corporate investment. Considered the “industry scoreboard” for corporate investment and relocation, the publication recognized that Chicago was home to more new or expanded corporate facilities than any other metropolitan area in the nation in 2013, with 373 new and expanding companies, generating approximately 10,000 new jobs and $2.8 billion in investment.

“We are pleased to see Site Selection recognize WBC’s efforts to drive growth throughout the Chicago metropolitan area,” said WBC President & CEO, Jeff Malehorn. “As WBC continues to implement Mayor Emanuel’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs strategies, we are making an impact in key industries and enhancing Chicago’s position as a premier global business destination.”

Site Selection highlights the diversity of Chicago’s economy and access to talent as key reasons for its accomplishments. No industry represents more than 13 percent of Chicago’s workforce. In addition, the city is home to a tremendous talent pipeline with 4 million people in its labor force and 150 higher education institutions that graduate 145,000 people every year.

A wide range of companies, from Assisted Living Concepts and ADM, to Coeur Mining, Gogo, and Google’s Motorola Mobility chose to locate their North American Headquarters in downtown Chicago in 2013. All noted access to talent and access to the world as primary reasons for their location decisions.

“World Business Chicago has been a consistent top 10 performer. By promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and technology, WBC has provided a blueprint for other economic development organizations to follow,” said Ron Starner,  Executive Vice President of Site Selection magazine.

Developed at the request of Mayor Emanuel in 2011, WBC’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs provides a coordinated effort to assess the regional economy and help it expand at a faster rate. The Plan has distinct goals that are based on rigorous, fact-based analysis. It builds on the region’s existing economic strengths with ten transformative strategies that are intended to revitalize neighborhoods, generate accelerated growth in businesses of all sizes, and bring jobs to Chicago.

Economic development groups were evaluated by Site Selection on a variety of criteria, mainly: jobs, capital investment, jobs per capita, and investment per capita. In addition, Site Selection looked at economic development strategy; depth and breadth of project activity; ability to generate breakthrough deals; and the ability to properly document the contributions of the economic development organization to project results.

See the complete list of the “Top 10 Economic Development Groups” here.

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Chaired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, World Business Chicago drives regional economic growth. WBC collaborates to create jobs, cultivate talent, and put Chicago at the forefront of the global economy. A unique public-private partnership, WBC engages business and community leaders to advance Chicago’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs.