Illinois public and private sector leaders are joining U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL,11) in an effort to help boost jobs and economic development in Will County and the Chicago region.
Foster kicked off his "Project Growth" initiative at a panel discussion in Joliet on Friday. The endeavor is focused on four key issues: education, manufacturing, strengthening the middle-class and transportation.
“My goal in launching Project Growth is to do deep examinations of what’s working in our communities, what isn’t working, and what we can be doing to better support job creation and more economic development,” the congressman said at the launch of his new initiative.
The share of
people experiencing poverty in the Chicago region was split evenly
between the suburbs and the city as of 2011, a new study by the
Heartland Alliance’s Social IMPACT Research Center shows.
50-50 balance is a drastic change compared to 1990, when about 66
percent of the region’s poor people lived in the city, while 34 percent
lived in the suburbs.
By 2011, nearly 630,000 suburbanites were
living in poverty, which is a 95 percent increase from 1990, according
to the ”Poverty Matters” report. That increase far outpaced the overall 29
percent suburban population growth from 1990 to 2011. Meanwhile,
the number of Chicagoans living in poverty remained about the same
during that time period.
Cook County welcomed 17,000 immigrants in 2012, expanding the
population by .3 percent and retaining its position as the second most
populated county in the nation, behind Los Angeles County, according to
Thursday’s Census Bureau data.