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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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July 20, 2018

Intersect Illinois Strengthens Business Ties with Japan

Intersect Illinois recently helped welcome the newly appointed Japanese Ambassador to the United States to Illinois on a visit that focused on advancing the state’s business partnerships with Japan. His Excellency Shinsuke J. Sugiyama, Ambassador of Japan to the United States, joined the Honorable Naoki Ito, Consul-General of and Japan in Chicago and Japan External […]

July 18, 2018

DeKalb Co. Labor Market Supports Business Development

Abundant worker availability in the DeKalb County labor market has enabled Target and 3M staff significant expansions in DeKalb, IL.

March 5, 2018

Illinois Ranks Third in Governor’s Cup Awards From Site Selection Magazine

Awarded for The Most Economic Development Projects March 5, 2018 – Congratulations are in order for the state of Illinois and the combined work efforts of INTERSECT ILLINOIS, the statewide private economic development organization, and the states’ local economic development organizations! In the highly coveted Governor’s Cup rankings for 2017, Illinois ranked third in the […]

November 15, 2017

Kankakee County getting $180 million steel mill expansion

Steelmaker Nucor plans to invest $180 million to expand a steel plant an hour south of Chicago, creating 75 new jobs.

October 12, 2017

HARIBO of America Expands U.S. Headquarters in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Bruce Rauner, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and Intersect Illinois, today announced that HARIBO of America Inc. will be growing their U.S. presence in Illinois. The German company will be expanding their U.S. headquarters, currently located in Rosemont, and adding 55 new jobs to their existing workforce.

Contact Us

Brent Case

Senior Vice President,
Business Development

312-667-6013 brent.case@intersectillinois.org LinkedIn Profile