Reports | Whitepapers & Journals

Archived Reports (2015 and prior)

DeKalb Housing Information Project

Project Team: The project was directed by Dr. Shannon Sohl and Mim Evans who were also primary report authors. The team responsible for project design, data collection and data analysis included CGS researchers Chia-Pao Hsu, Thomas Kazmierczak, Liang Tang, and DeSheng “Ben” Xu and NIU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences research.

Recognizing the role of housing in the community’s quality of life, and public and private finances, The City of DeKalb and Northern Illinois University continued their partnership to provide current and comprehensive data on housing in DeKalb. This study updates and expands upon housing information originally captured in the Year 1 DeKalb comprehensive housing database and related report produced in 2013. The Year 2 study includes most of the variables found in the Year 1 study plus data aggregated at the neighborhood level for university students, on-campus housing, rental housing, and DeKalb School District 428 students. Read the full report.

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State of Illinois Economic Development Plan

CGS helped prepare a statewide economic development plan for the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity in 2014. The State of Illinois 2014 Economic Development Plan addresses key issues and opportunities facing all of Illinois’ communities. Read the Plan here.

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North Central Illinois Council of Governments Regional Analysis Report

By: Brian Harger and Melissa Henriksen
In April 2014, the North Central Illinois Council of Governments (NCICG) contracted with CGS to prepare a regional analysis for its primary community development service area including Bureau, Grundy, LaSalle, Marshall, Putnam, and Stark counties. The objective of the regional analysis was to analyze demographic and business trends and characteristics of the region, and ultimately identify industry clusters, or concentrations of competing, complementary, and/or interdependent firms and industries which conduct business with each other and/or have common needs for talent, technology, and infrastructure. Click here to read the full report.

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Illinois Critical Access Hospital Program: Learning from the Past, Building the Future

Executive Summary | Full Report

By: Melissa Henriksen, Norman Walzer & Andy Blanke
Critical access hospitals (CAHs) are important in rural areas not only providing access to health care, but also as local sources of employment. For this report the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network (ICAHN) collaborated with CGS to gain a better understanding of major demographic, economic, and policy changes affecting rural health care and how CAH designation has benefited CAHs in Illinois. Visit our page on research in healthcare policy to learn more about the work being done in this area.

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Project Team: Brian Richard, Andrew Blanke, Jennifer Foil, and Brian Harger
CGS completed a report that used the Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) tool to quantify the direct and indirect economic activity related to the military and defense industry in Illinois. The study looks at the economic impact of the state’s three active military installations: Scott Air Force Base near Belleville, the Rock Island Arsenal in the Quad Cities, and the Naval Station Great Lakes. In addition, Department of Defense (DoD) contracts with private sector companies and Illinois National Guard activities are evaluated. The report detailed the impacts by region, Congressional district and the state. Researchers also conducted a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats or SWOT analysis that looked at a variety of factors including quality of life, local military support efforts, state and national policy. The report was funded by a public-private partnership between the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Foundation and former Lt. Governor Sheila Simon. 


Project Team: Brian Richard, Andrew Blanke, Brian Harger, Diana Robinson, and Ben Xu
A study completed by CGS detailed community college student outcomes and economic impacts for the Illinois Community College system and each of the 39 community college districts in the state. The report examined earnings gains for community college program completers, including the return on investment for specific programs, and provides demographic summaries of community college students. In addition, the economic impacts of college operations were quantified. The report was funded by an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) Grant.

Illinois Creative Economy Report

Project Team: Pat Inman, Katie Davison, Mim Evans, Brian Richard, and Diana Robinson
CGS partnered with Arts Alliance Illinois to facilitate research looking at policy directives related to building the creative economy in Illinois. Download the complete report including recommendations made to Governor Quinn. To learn more about the project, visit the Arts Alliance Illinois website.

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Grundy County and Laborshed Regional Cluster Analysis

By: Brian Harger and Melissa Henriksen
In October 2013, the Villages of Channahon and Minooka contracted with the Center for Governmental Studies (CGS) at Northern Illinois University (NIU) to prepare a cluster analysis of the development area surrounding the Interstate 80/Brisbin Road Interchange. The objective of the cluster analysis was to evaluate demographic and business trends and characteristics of Grundy County and the surrounding region, and ultimately identify concentrations of competing, complementary, and/or interdependent firms and industries which may have supply-chain relationships with each other and/or have common needs for talent, technology, and infrastructure.

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State of Ingenuity Initiative

By: Brian Richard, Joey Lata, Jennifer Groce, Norman Walzer, Brian Harger, Andy Blanke
CGS is a partner in the State of Ingenuity (SOI) project funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration and administered by the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. The SOI is a network of organizations pursuing economic development and job creation in a six-county region that spans northeastern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin. In early 2014, CGS coordinated a series of five courses designed for mid-career executives from the public, non-governmental, and private sectors interested in developing their understanding of the basic concepts, tools, and strategies to foster regional economic development. These courses were videotaped and available for viewing at no cost. Case studies were prepared for each course by the instructor. Click here to access these materials.

A report on sustainable funding for early-stage small businesses also was developed by CGS as part of the SOI project. The report is intended to help local development practitioners and public officials gain insight into new and innovative approaches to helping entrepreneurs finance business starts.

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Promoting Prosperity in Northwest Illinois Report  

By: Brian Harger, Melissa Henriksen, Norman Walzer, and Andy Blanke
Five counties in northwest Illinois - Carroll, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, and Whiteside - engaged CGS to explore how local economic, community, and business leaders can better promote business starts as well as expansion, attraction, and retention in the five-county region. This locally driven project is funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and coordinated by county-level community and economic development agencies. Learn more about industry cluster analyses.

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DeKalb Housing Report

By: Jennifer Groce and Shannon Sohl
A project that inventoried the housing stock in this community's 23 neighborhoods, analyzed over and under supply, and compared DeKalb's housing to other Illinois university towns. This information will help the City make cost-effective and sustainable development decisions and serve as a baseline to assess change in DeKalb's housing over time. Learn more about the process of conducting housing studies.

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Suburban Cook County Food System Assessment

By: Pat Inman and Katie Davison
CGS conducted a comprehensive analysis of the food system in Suburban Cook County. The ability to address inequality in access to fresh food is complicated by the complexity of the food system. Five main functions move food from farm to table: production, processing, distribution, access, and waste management. The interdependency of those functions creates a confusing and largely invisible web. Making food systems more visible allows regions to bring appropriate partners to the table for collaboration and helps government agencies make informed policy choices. Learn more about local food planning and technical assistance.
Full Report (1.23MB)

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