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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 2, 2022

Intersect Illinois 2022 Annual Report Shows $402M in Investment

New Push Leads to 137% Growth in Investment and 112% Increase in Jobs South of I80 Intersect Illinois, the state’s not-for-profit economic development organization focused on bringing jobs and investment to Illinois, today released its annual report for the 2022 fiscal year. The report highlights businesses that Intersect Illinois helped relocate or expand during the […]

October 17, 2022

Polly Eldringhoff Appointed to Intersect Illinois Board of Directors

Eldringhoff to represent Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas in efforts to bring economic growth and jobs to Illinois Intersect Illinois today announced that Polly Eldringhoff, vice president of operational performance and compliance for Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, has joined its board of directors. Eldringhoff’s experience in planning and community engagement will help […]

October 14, 2022

Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, Inc. Announces New $68 Million Distribution Center in Princeton

New center will create more than 145 jobs; facility will be completed in 2024 PRINCETON — Governor JB Pritzker, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, Inc. (Ollie’s), and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced that Ollie’s will build a new distribution center in Princeton, which will meet growing demand and support the company’s […]

September 12, 2022

Illinois Hosts 52nd Annual Midwest US Japan Conference in Chicago

The State of Illinois is honored to host the 52nd Annual Midwest US Japan (MWJA) Conference, which is jointly held by the Midwest U.S.-Japan and Japan-Midwest U.S. Associations in Chicago. The MWJA Conference brings together Governors from Midwestern states as well as Japan, leading international companies, and executives. The conference serves as a unique venue […]

August 15, 2022

Governor Pritzker, LG Chem, and ADM Announce New Joint Ventures to be Located in Decatur

Pending regulatory approval, the joint ventures will manufacture ingredients for a variety of plant-based products, including eco-friendly bioplastics; project expected to create more than 125 new jobs (Decatur, IL) — Governor Pritzker along with leading global diversified chemical company LG Chem, and ADM, a global leader in nutrition and BioSolutions, today announced that pending regulatory […]