Continued Economic Growth
The Greater O’Hare region is friendly to business newcomers as well as to long-time residents. Six of the 10 largest women-owned firms in the entire Chicagoland area are located in the Greater O’Hare region, as are three of the top 10 minority-owned firms (according to a ranking of firms by revenues published in Crain’s Chicago Business).
The growth in jobs in the region over the past 25 years has been consistently striking. The growth is due in large part to the region’s support for a level of excellence in schools that produces an educated workforce capable of meeting the diverse staffing needs of virtually any business.
During the time when job growth in all of Cook County was only 11 percent, the number of jobs in the private sector in the northwest Cook County suburbs (which make up the northern half of the Greater O’Hare region) grew by 185 percent to more than 450,000 according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
The leaders in private sector job growth and numbers in the northwest suburbs are Schaumburg, with 76,500 jobs (up 587 percent); Elk Grove Village, 62,000 jobs (up 200 percent); and Arlington Heights, 60,000 jobs (up 375 percent). In addition, average job growth in the six largest DuPage County communities in the Greater O’Hare region — Addison, Bensenville, Elmhurst, Lombard, Villa Park and Wood Dale — was 280 percent.
Elk Grove Village got a head start on the rest of the region in the 1950s when its unique mix of residential neighborhoods and a bustling industrial park was created. Including the public sector, the village has topped 90,000 jobs. The five-square mile industrial park just west of O’Hare boasts more than 3,500 businesses, and is the largest such park in the world.