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Lake County Comprehensive Economic Dev. Strategy

Lake County, IL

Lake County, Illinois is an affluent suburban county located just north of Chicago.  Lake County Partners, the County’s economic development organization, retained RKG to prepare a comprehensive economic development strategy to guide future industry recruitment, business expansion and retention activities.  In addition, Lake County Partners wanted to reach out to local economic development organizations to involve them in the planning process and to strengthen regional partnerships.  This strategic planning process would reestablish Lake County Partners as the County’s leading economic development entity.


While well-positioned between job centers in Chicago and Milwaukee, the County lacked the collaboration between the government and business stakeholders needed to fully meet its economic development potential.  Most notably, outreach efforts to existing industry clusters and potential growth sectors was limited due to low staffing levels and turnover at the Partners' Executive Director position.  RKG assisted the Partners in refining their target markets, establishing a more strategic outreach effort, and building a unified economic vision within the County.  The analysis prioritized catalytic capital investments, based on their potential impact for economic development activity.

The CEDS report was accepted by the Economic Development Administration upon its initial submission. The Partners hired a new marketing director shortly after the completion of the project.  In the years that followed, Lake County Partners greatly expanded its internal coordination efforts and marketing outreach strategy. 

Photo Credit: Griffith, Grant & Lackie Realtors

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