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Workforce

Overview

A Robust, Educated and Hardworking Talent Pool

Home to a civilian labor force of nearly 6.5 million people and more than 200 higher education institutions, Illinois continues to fuel one of its greatest assets for business: its diverse, skilled and hardworking workforce.

About a third of the state’s talent pool hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, which exceeds the national average. That’s thanks to Illinois’ top-notch higher education institutions, which produce 10 percent of the nation’s computer scientists and graduate more engineers than MIT, Stanford and Caltech combined. It’s no surprise that the minds behind YouTube, Oracle, CDW, PayPal and Tesla Motors are graduates of Illinois schools.

More than just highly educated, in the spirit of the famous Midwestern work ethic, our workforce is characterized as loyal, hardworking and honest.

Feeding Illinois’ Talent Pipeline

 

Illinois’ more than 200 higher education institutions include some of the top colleges, universities and graduate programs in the nation.

The private University of Chicago ranks third on U.S. News’ 2018 Best National Universities list, while Northwestern University and the University of Illinois host engineering programs among the country’s top 15. Many of these institutions partner with businesses and incubators to create custom skills-training programs, such as the UIUC Research Park, Argonne National Laboratory and the Illinois Science and Tech Park.

The state’s more than 80 nationally ranked public high schools ensure that the workforce pipeline is continually growing

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University of Chicago students outside Cobb Hall

The Skills to Fit Your Business Needs

 

Illinois’ workforce isn’t just skilled—it’s diverse in terms of its skillsets. Each year, the corporate talent pipeline is fueled by more than 100,000 MBA graduates, more than 37,000 engineering graduates, nearly 29,000 IT graduates and nearly 9,000 law graduates.

The state’s agribusiness and advanced manufacturing industries are fueled by the fifth largest high school for agricultural sciences in the nation and the University of Illinois’ world-class programs, such as the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the Illinois Data Science Initiative.

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Students outside research facility

Quick Facts
6.47 Million
Civilian Labor Force
Quick Facts
200+
Higher Education Institutions
Relevant News
May 12
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Mar 28
May 12, 2022

David Boulay Appointed to Intersect Illinois Board of Directors

Boulay to represent Illinois Manufacturers Excellence Center (IMEC) in bringing economic development to Illinois Intersect Illinois today announced that Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) President, David Boulay, will join its board of directors. Boulay leads the organization dedicated to helping manufacturing enterprises in Illinois to be globally competitive. His appointment to Intersect Illinois’ board will […]

May 3, 2022

Changing the narrative: Out-of-state businesses are buying Illinois’ sales pitch

If you’re someone who thinks Illinois gets everything wrong when it comes to business, this column isn’t for you. Actually, maybe it is especially for you. Maybe before you scream “Get me outta this $%^& state!!!” again, you should read what Dan Seals says to out-of-state businesses when he tells them, you should be in […]

April 19, 2022

Intersect Illinois Appoints Jeffrey Baker to Board of Directors

Baker to represent Illinois REALTORS® in helping bring economic development to Illinois Intersect Illinois today announced that Jeffrey Baker will join its board of directors, helping further the organization’s mission of bringing economic growth and jobs to Illinois. Baker is the CEO of Illinois REALTORS®, the trade association representing the commercial and residential real estate […]

April 11, 2022

Intersect Illinois Appoints Jennifer Creasey to Board of Directors

Creasey to represent the University of Illinois System in helping bring economic development to Illinois Intersect Illinois today announced that Jennifer Creasey will join its board of directors, helping further the organization’s mission of bringing economic growth and jobs to Illinois. Creasey serves as the assistant vice president of External and State Relations for the […]

March 28, 2022

Intersect Illinois Launches “Be in Illinois” Campaign

Multimedia, muti-channel campaign highlights state’s opportunities for business growth Intersect Illinois, the public-private business recruitment arm of the state, today launched a new multimedia, multichannel campaign called Be in Illinois. The campaign showcases Illinois’ unique assets such as its skilled workforce, central location and history of innovation to corporate investment and relocation decision makers. A […]