County Examples

Invest in Cook

Cook County, Ill.

Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways (CCDOTH) has jurisdiction over a minute fraction of the County’s transportation network within its borders, yet transportation investments (or disinvestments) made by other jurisdictions affect the quality of life for all Cook County residents and businesses. The purpose of the Invest in Cook Program is to utilize a variety of tools and resources at the County’s disposal to identify performance-based investment opportunities to propel transportation projects that often stall because of limited resources and the complexities of intergovernmental coordination. Through the Invest in Cook Pilot Program, Cook County has helped municipalities secure the necessary resources to advance projects that help achieve the policy priorities of its Long Range Transportation Plan. Just as important, the County has taken the lead on implementing transportation improvements of regional significance that span multiple jurisdictions. In doing so, Cook County has enabled more strategic investment in the transportation system to yield broader economic and community benefits. Since the program’s inception in February of 2014, Cook County has identified and found full funding for 10 transportation projects with tremendous economic and community development outcomes. Cook County staff time, including engineering and grant writing, along with $58 million of direct capital investment by the County, has secured just under $119 million in grant funding across nine different federal, state, and other local programs for these projects and $62 million in private investment from 10 companies. Invest in Cook is the culmination of the Preckwinkle Administration’s years of rebuilding trust with both communities and businesses. By recommitting to strategic investments with economic outcomes, Cook County is leading by example. So far, communities and businesses have overwhelmingly responded in kind.

Mr. John H. Yonan 
Superintendent of Highways

About 100 Brilliant Ideas at Work

Counties play an essential role in keeping America’s communities healthy, vibrant and safe. With public and private sector partners, we pursue innovative approaches to advance public health and well-being, protect public safety and foster economic strength and resiliency. Counties anticipate and adapt to challenges by thinking outside the box and demonstrating local leadership that makes a difference in people’s lives.

Under the leadership of NACo Immediate Past President Bryan Desloge, NACo embarked on an initiative to identify and share 100 examples of visionary county leadership that results in improving residents’ quality of life. Through this initiative, NACo worked with county leaders and partners to share best practices that bolster our nation’s ability to thrive county by county.

See All 100 Brilliant Ideas