Skip to main content
IMA Executive News & Views Blog

Intersect Illinois & Coalition Partners Launch New Effort to Improve Business Growth

First Initiative to Bring Together Economic Development Partners Statewide . . .

IntersectILGovernor Rauner and Jim Schultz, CEO of Intersect Illinois, announced via Facebook Live that a statewide coalition of economic development organizations is partnering to establish a comprehensive business expansion and retention program, CORE. CORE (Creating Opportunities for Retention and Expansion) will provide a holistic approach to economic development, identify and remove barriers to business growth, and increase investment in Illinois. The program is driven by a management committee comprised of Intersect Illinois, the Illinois Department of Commerce, the Illinois Economic Development Association, Ameren, ComEd, Nicor Gas, Great River Economic Development Foundation, Greater Sterling Economic Development Corporation and the Grundy County Economic Development Council.

Over 150 local economic development professionals attended introductory launch meetings held throughout the state in September.

CORE is Illinois’ first statewide initiative to bring together economic development partners to create a unified business retention and expansion strategy. It will deploy a systematic approach to understanding and identifying statewide trends, enabling state and local stakeholders to better address economic development needs.

“It is essential to understand the needs of the business community in order to promote economic growth in Illinois,” said Jim Schultz, Chairman and CEO of Intersect Illinois. “The CORE Coalition creates a platform to coordinate services for businesses and increase the efficacy of our existing economic development tools. I have made a push for this state to become the Red Carpet state as opposed to the Red-Tape state. This is a significant first step in simplifying the experience for our valuable businesses while garnering insight into how best to serve them going forward.”

“By strengthening the relationship between state economic development entities and those at the local, regional, and utility level, we will better be able to identify the resources, changes and opportunities needed to drive business growth and investment,” said Sean McCarthy, Acting Director for the Illinois Department of Commerce.

The CORE Coalition will host regional coordination events in October where members will receive training on the Synchronist program and strategies for coordinating high quality customer service at the state and local level. CORE will help economic development organizations to better serve their communities by identifying expansion opportunities or retention risks and developing innovative, data-driven solutions.

For more information, please contact Kelly Nicholl at


Intersect Illinois works in collaboration with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Focusing on the state of Illinois’ economic development efforts, Intersect Illinois was established as a private entity with greater flexibility to actively pursue prospects, and market this great state.