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Advancing Illinois

We believe that the future of Illinois is bright and opportunity abounds. We partner with public, private, and nonprofit organizations to help Illinois fulfill its potential and to support and sustain the state we are proud to call home.

Our roots in Illinois

Since our founding by University of Chicago Professor James O. McKinsey, McKinsey has been deeply rooted in the state of Illinois. Our Chicago office, established in 1926, was McKinsey’s first in the world. Today, the office is supported by a diverse team of over 1,000 colleagues who are happy to call Illinois home.

Illinois is an exciting place to live, work, study, and visit. McKinsey Chicago is committed to helping our private-sector clients build and grow successful businesses here. We bring this same passion and commitment to serving the public sector. For over 50 years, McKinsey has served as the trusted advisor to national governments and federal, state, and local agencies.

McKinsey Chicago is proud to partner with organizations that strive to improve our community – whether they operate as private, public, or nonprofit entities. To that end, our Chicago office provides pro-bono support to civic and not-for-profit institutions. Some examples of our pro-bono work include:

  • helping to develop the long-term transformation plan for a large faith-based organization, including a new operating model and organizational structure to better support its mission
  • supporting an important cultural and historical museum on its 5-year strategy to expand its reach in the Chicago area and deepen its impact both within and outside the museum.

Opportunities for the state

McKinsey Chicago sees a great deal of potential in Illinois. Like many states, Illinois faces the challenge of improving economic and social conditions for its residents, at a time when public finances are increasingly strained. Although Illinois has made strides, there are opportunities for public-, private-, and social-sector stakeholders to do more, particularly in the following areas:

Economic development

Over the last ten years, Illinois has lost more jobs than it has gained and currently lags other U.S. states in job growth. Simultaneously, automation is transforming labor markets in a way that presents unique challenges for business leaders, policymakers, nonprofits, and individual workers. Recent research by the McKinsey Global Institute and others outlines the challenges associated with automation, the future of work, and potential solutions.

Fiscal stability

Illinois has had difficulty balancing the budget in the past and ranks lower than other U.S. states on measures such as short-term fiscal stability, as calculated by U.S. News & World Report. Looking at long-term fiscal stability, Illinois currently has one of the largest unfunded pension liabilities in the country. McKinsey’s global research on public finance and tax authorities tracks the role of innovation in improving efficiency and financial stability.

Healthcare

Illinois spends a great deal of its budget on healthcare, but ranks 37th out of 50 U.S. states in quality of care, according to U.S. News & World Report. Opportunities exist to improve care and other outcomes, particularly in areas such as behavioral health and opioid use disorder. McKinsey research suggests that addressing the opioid epidemic requires bold, collaborative actions by healthcare, business, and government leaders.

Crime and corrections

The prevention of crime has clear economic and social benefits. Residents feel secure and free to be productive. Businesses are more likely to invest in safe communities, which tourists are more likely to visit.  According to the Disaster Center, Illinois’s crime rate per capita has increased by 18 percent in the past two years, translating to an average of 152 violent crimes a day in 2016. Of Illinois residents incarcerated today, most will return to their community, but one in two will return to prison within five years of their release, according to the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform.  Our research and client work suggests that just as crime is changing, so must society’s approach to public safety, effective policing, corrections, and criminal justice reform.

Moving forward

Drawing on years of on-the-ground experience, a global network of experts, and an arsenal of knowledge, tools, and solutions, McKinsey Chicago delivers the best of McKinsey for every client project. Because we know firsthand that change can be hard, we nurture client ownership and build capabilities along the way. By implementing cutting-edge analytics, digital, and IT, we help private-, public-, and social-sector entities operate efficiently and effectively long after our work is complete. Because at McKinsey Chicago, we care most about the impact we have – on our clients, our communities, and the people of Illinois.

What we can do

For over 50 years, McKinsey has served as the trusted advisor to national governments and federal, state, and local agencies. Some examples of our public-sector work include:

  • helping agency leaders redesign their resident experience to better serve their residents
  • using advanced analytics and digital solutions to transform operations
  • enabling agencies to deliver on their priorities such as improving healthcare, public safety, and economic development outcomes

Drawing on years of on-the-ground experience, a global network of experts, and an arsenal of knowledge, tools, and solutions, we deliver the best of McKinsey for every effort. Because we know firsthand that change can be hard, we nurture client ownership and build capabilities along the way. By implementing cutting-edge analytics, digital tools, and IT, we help entities operate efficiently and effectively long after we are gone. Because at McKinsey, we care most about the impact we have—on our clients, our communities, and the people of Illinois.

Connect with McKinsey Illinois

Contact us to learn more about our work in Illinois and our ideas for advancing the state.

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Chicago, IL 60601
United States

Voice: +1 (312) 551 3500
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