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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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March 9, 2021

ADM’s Rich History and Future in Illinois – Q&A with Greg Morris

ADM is a global leader in human and animal nutrition and the world’s premier agricultural origination and processing company. In this Q&A, senior vice president and president of ADM’s Agricultural Services and Oilseeds business unit, Greg Morris, discusses the company’s rich history and future in Illinois. Q: Can you tell us about ADM’s history in […]

World’s Largest Insect Protein Production Center Chooses Decatur for U.S. HQ

Innovafeed, a leader in production of animal nutrition and feed, recently announced plans to bring the world’s largest insect protein production to Decatur, Illinois. The facility will be owned and operated by France-based Innovafeed, which will co-locate with ADM’s Decatur corn processing complex. Together, these investments will bolster Illinois’ access to sustainable agriculture feed supply, […]

September 28, 2020

Illinois Investment Guide Now Available

This 2020/2021 Illinois Investment Guide is a yearly publication written by Site Selection magazine publisher Conway Global, that highlights the state’s assets as a global business destination, including its workforce, infrastructure, central location and diverse economy. The issue also reports on the State’s response to COVID-19, and its continued support for Illinois’ residents, small businesses […]

July 30, 2020

Illinois Lands Multiple Top Ten Rankings for Economic Development

The state of Illinois was ranked in the top ten for several economic growth categories, according to Business Facilities’ (BF) 2020 state rankings released this week. The annual report by BF looks at key economic development indicators for the 50 states, and ranks states’ performance based on level of investment, jobs created and upward mobility […]

July 16, 2019

The Most Effective Site Selection Tools

From Intersect Insight, the Quarterly newsletter highlighting Illinois economic development news.  Intersect Illinois recently launched a new tool aimed at speeding up and simplifying the process of attracting job growth throughout the state. Our new real estate database and proposal management system, hosted on our website IntersectIllinois.org, provides immediate access to in-­‐depth information that previously […]