CSEDC, along with Cook County and Canadian National led a Chinese delegation to showcase the Southland and the benefits of investing in it July 28 on a tour and luncheon held at Balagio Ristorante in Homewood. About 25 people attended, as well as an intern from Cook County who translated in Chinese.
CSEDC and SSMMA Deputy Executive Director of Economic Development Reggie Greenwood provided an overview of the region’s benefits including its central location and solid logistics infrastructure, unified communities with a ready workforce and supportive government(s). See his slides here.
Mohammed Elahi from Cook County’s Bureau of Economic Development discussed the Chicago Regional Growth Initiative (CRGI). It’s is an unprecedented regional collaboration between the seven counties of Northeastern Illinois (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will) and the City of Chicago with the goal of collaboration to strengthen the regional economy.
Mr. Elahi also explained that the south suburbs have the potential to be a national center for innovation in transportation distribution and logistics (TD&L) and food packaging; home to growing supply chains for fabricated metals and blue-collar B2B activities; and Metro Chicago’s “green playground.” See his slides here.
CN Senior Solutions Manager Chris Timmons discussed the mega rail company that he describes as a “backbone of the economy and a true supply chain enabler.” CN is the only transcontinental railway in North America with a 19,600 mile network that spans Canada and Mid-America, connecting three coasts. They offer fully integrated rail and other transportation services, including intermodal, trucking, freight forwarding, warehousing, and distribution. Their extensive network coupled with unique supply chain partnerships provide connections to all points in North America and beyond. Read more in the presentation slides here.
After the lunchtime presentation, the delegation visited XPO Logistics in Chicago Heights. XPO Logistics is a worldwide logistics company and has a major operation in the Chicago Southland. They described their operations to the Chinese delegation and the benefit of being located in the region.
The visit from the Chinese delegation is part of a new effort by CSEDC/SSMMA and Cook County to market the benefits of the region to international companies. This has led to discussion and local tours of representatives from Japan, Turkey, and Italy. Indeed, the Chicago Southland is the Crossroads of America and we are working to let everyone know about it. More photos are here.