In cooperation with national and regional researchers, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago began an assessment of the Midwest economy in late 1995. The project’s primary mission was to document the dramatic turnaround in the region’s fortunes since the early 1980s and to analyze the changes underlying this turnaround. The project was motivated by the belief that regional prosperity has often proved fleeting and a thorough understanding of the internal and external factors in the region’s recovery would allow public and private policymakers to craft policies to sustain the Midwest economy. The study was designed to investigate the interrelationships and key emerging trends in such areas as globalization, labor force development, industry structure, government policy and geographic shifts in industrial location. Public and private decisionmakers, academic researchers and economists addressed these issues at a series of workshops held at the Bank.