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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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November 16, 2021

Danobat Announces New Headquarters in Rolling Meadows

Global manufacturer of machinery tools chooses Illinois for new U.S. location Danobat, a global manufacturer of machine tools and production systems for the auto, aerospace, rail and energy sectors, today announced plans to open its new headquarters in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. The investment will bring new jobs to the region, with an initial seven employees […]

September 23, 2021

Illinois Investment Guide 2021-22

This Illinois Investment Guide is written and edited by Conway Global, and features data and stories on the state’s unique position as a diverse and thriving global business destination. It highlights Illinois’ unique regions and prominent industries including agribusiness, energy, manufacturing, life sciences, transportation and logistics, and technology. The issue is available digitally here. Additionally, […]

September 9, 2021

Dan Seals to Serve as New Intersect Illinois CEO

New leadership at Intersect Illinois includes Seals to market Illinois as a premier global business destination; joined by Robert Stephan to focus on downstate development and corporate relations Intersect Illinois, the statewide economic development organization focused on bringing businesses to Illinois, today announced it has named Dan Seals as its new CEO. Seals will guide […]

July 1, 2021

Illinois Ranks #1 in Site Selection Magazine’s Annual Sustainability Rankings

State tops the nation as most sustainable location for site selection Illinois tops the nation in Site Selection magazine’s annual ranking of the top locations for sustainable development, released today. The state moves up from the third spot in the 2021 report, which combines standard green metrics such as LEED-certified buildings, renewable energy use and […]

June 7, 2021

Team Illinois Participates in 2021 SelectUSA Investment Summit

State and Local Economic Development Organizations Attract Global Investment to Illinois at SelectUSA Investment Summit The State of Illinois today announced that a delegation from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Intersect Illinois and 17 economic development partners will represent Illinois at the 2021 virtual SelectUSA Investment Summit hosted by the U.S. Department of […]