ROCKFORD — The city wants to harness data to keep tabs on the economic health of five distinct areas within its borders.
It hopes information on jobs, unemployment, building permits, tax revenue, home prices, business investment and other measures can be used to read the health of geographic chunks of town.
Mayor Larry Morrissey, who said, “I’m a little nerdy when it comes to data,” wants a way to use place-based economic development strategies to address different needs in different areas of the city, and a way to assess whether strategies are working.
“This is the beginning of the process,” said Thomas Bona, director of research and information for the Economic Development District of Northern Illinois.
Bona’s comments came at the first City Regional Economic Report and Review today at the Regional Design Center, 315 N. Main St.
It’s not being called alignment economy, but with a handful of partners the city hopes to mimic Alignment Rockford’s work with Rockford Public Schools that got the city’s educational interests on the same page. They’ll meet quarterly to review data and tweak data sets when needed.