Collaboration - Not Competition - Key for Milwaukee and Chicago
When the OECD Territorial Review of the Chicago Tri-State Metropolitan Region was released in March, Angel Gurría, Secretary-General for the OECD, said the region needs to boost the productivity of the workforce and act as a unified economic block in order to regain competitiveness. He said state lines have become too thick, and those barriers must be broken down.
“There are a number of things that can be done in the region itself, with better coordination of the authorities, that can increase the potential of the region and put it at least at the level of the averages in the United States,” said Gurría. “As one of the richest regions in the world, the Chicago metropolitan area has all the ingredients for a vibrant economy.“
Milwaukee and Chicago have a history of competing with each other, whether it is culturally, economically, or politically. This weekend, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel ran an opinion piece analyzing the many economic similarities between the two cities, noting that collaboration is in both cities’ best interest.
From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel story:
It's hard to imagine two cities with more to talk about. And it's hard to imagine two cities that spend less time talking about their almost identical challenges. Instead, they seem happiest in competition, rooting for their Brewers or Cubs, poaching each other's businesses, content to let their state governments bash the other.
When both cities boomed with industry and jobs, this separation did little obvious harm. But we're in a global economy now. Size matters, and once-dominant American cities need to leverage all available assets just to compete. Chicago and Milwaukee don't compete anymore. Today, the competition is 10,000 miles away. And despite occasional triumphs such as Master Lock, which recently brought back about 100 jobs from overseas, Midwestern cities are losing the race.
Mayor Emanuel’s Plan for Economic Growth aligns with this type of strategy, calling for new levels of collaboration and the leveraging of resources that materially contribute toward boosting the economic performance of the larger metropolitan region. It builds upon past efforts and more importantly seeks to foster parallel economic development initiatives already underway.
Through the Tri-State Alliance and its economic development efforts, the Chamber is working hard to foster the regional collaboration that is needed to improve economic growth and ensure the future success of the region.
Click here to read the full Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel story.