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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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September 13, 2018

Faber-Castell to Open Cosmetic Manufacturing Facility in Elgin

ELGIN – Governor Bruce Rauner and Faber-Castell Cosmetics announced the company’s first North American manufacturing facility in Illinois. The German company has leased a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Elgin that will be dedicated to producing cosmetic pencils for the North American market. The $9 million project will create 50 full-time jobs. The announcement comes after […]

September 11, 2018

Intersect Illinois President and CEO Mark Peterson Named One of America’s Top 50 Economic Developers

Consultant Connect, a consulting agency designed to bridge the gap between economic developers and site consultants, announces its 2018 list of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers. The economic development professionals selected for this list were nominated by their colleagues in both the economic development industry and the site consultant community for excellent practices, innovation […]

September 5, 2018

How We Lure Business to Illinois – Crain’s Op Ed

Intersect Illinois President & CEO Mark Peterson explains how we bring global business to the state in this recent Crain’s Chicago Business op ed.   When I was asked to come from New York to lead Intersect Illinois, the state’s privately funded economic development office, I wasn’t looking for a new job, but I saw […]

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.

Contact Us

Brent Case

Senior Vice President,
Business Development

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