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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
Jun 7
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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 […]

May 18, 2021

Economic Development Week 2021

Intersect Illinois, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the IEDA  shared best practices, lessons learned, and strategies for success around driving economic development in Illinois during Economic Development Week 2021. Economic development plays a vital role as we shift towards economic recovery. To showcase the work being done across the state, […]

May 7, 2021

Lion Electric Plans First-Ever U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Illinois

$70 Million Investment Paves the Way for Largest All-Electric Commercial Vehicle Production Plant in the U.S.; Creating 745 Jobs in Illinois Governor JB Pritzker today joined elected officials and the Lion Electric Company — a Canadian based manufacturer of all-electric medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles — to announce a significant investment in Illinois, with plans […]

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, […]