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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
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August 3, 2022

Gov. Pritzker and Tyson Foods, Inc. Break Ground on Caseyville Expansion

Tyson to invest $180 million and create 250 new jobs at expanded Caseyville facility (Caseyville, IL) Governor JB Pritzker joined Tyson Foods, Inc., as well as state and local officials, to announce a new expansion of Tyson’s Caseyville facility, which will expand the production of Hillshire Farm® and Jimmy Dean® products. The company’s commitment to […]

July 14, 2022

GAF Commercial Roofing to Locate Plant in North Peru

North America’s largest roofing manufacturer to build 450,000 Sq. Ft. plant, employ more than 70 workers. (Peru, IL) GAF, a Standard Industries company and North America’s largest roofing and waterproofing manufacturer, has announced an $80 Million, 450,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Peru just north of I-80 and west of Plank Road on the OmniTRAX […]

July 8, 2022

State agency helps tout Southwestern Illinois

By Dennis Grubaugh A state economic development association that has spent months studying Southwestern Illinois concludes the area is ripe for growth. Intersect Illinois is focused on bringing new businesses, jobs and investment to the state by collaborating with industry, academic, civic, and government partners to deliver a unified approach. Representatives focused intently this past […]

June 29, 2022

Sean McCarthy Appointed to Intersect Illinois Board of Directors

McCarthy to represent Comcast in bringing economic development to Illinois Intersect Illinois today announced that Sean McCarthy, vice president of business development and strategic initiatives for Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region, has joined its board of directors. At Comcast, McCarthy is responsible for driving economic development by partnering with counties, municipalities and developers throughout the region, […]

June 27, 2022

State and Local Economic Development Organizations to Attract Global Investment to Illinois at 2022 SelectUSA Summit

The State of Illinois today announced its delegation for the 2022 SelectUSA Investment Summit, led by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Intersect Illinois and nine economic development partners. The SelectUSA Investment Summit – which is hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce – is the highest-profile economic summit in the country dedicated […]