Rauner introduces new nonprofit economic development group
Gov. Bruce Rauner has announced a new, private nonprofit organization that is taking the reins of the state's economic development initiative.
The Illinois Business and Economic Development Corporation has been incorporated with a mandate to improve the state's job market and overall competitiveness.
Officials said the organization is an attempt to put more energy and resources into economic development without depending on the existing infrastructure, which is often congested with other priorities.
"We must take decisive, focused action if we are going to reverse our state's economic decline and put Illinois back on the path to growth and prosperity," Illinois Department of Commerce Directors Jim Schultz said. "The rigid structure and suffocating bureaucracy of the Department of Commerce hinder our ability to attract businesses to Illinois and to drive economic development. A mere 14 percent of Department of Commerce staff is dedicated to economic development activities, limiting the resources to attract and to retain business, which is a disservice to Illinois businesses and taxpayers."
The new nonprofit is modeled on similar state and local groups and focuses on sales, marketing and customer service. The model was recommended by the governor's transition committee.