University of Illinois System
Our CompassLocationsImpactPriorities & Initiatives

Workforce Development: Strengthening the Talent Pipeline

students sitting at a table with Chicago skyline in background

The University of Illinois System does more than provide world-class education through our three universities. We prepare today’s learners to become the workforce of tomorrow.

The benefit permeates our state. In fact, the impact of our universities’ alumni in the Illinois workforce amounted to $9.5 billion in added income in FY2021, according to the recent economic impact report.

The system’s workforce-development mission appears in many other forms and evolves continually to meet demand. The U of I System interacts with early-childhood programs and facilitates elementary, middle and high school connections to technology and entrepreneurial opportunities. We partner with community colleges and Illinois businesses in more and more ways to fill the talent pipeline. Our certificate and other programs allow employees to build additional skills and keep lifelong learners, well, learning.

Plus, we support startup and spinoff companies in our ever-growing and inclusive innovation ecosystem.

Fast Facts

  • 75% of our universities’ graduates stay in Illinois to participate in the state’s economy.
  • Discovery Partners Institute trains more than 300 learners a year – from age 14 to 63 – for tech jobs in Chicago.
  • For every $1 invested in the system, society receives a cumulative value of $4.40.

Programs & Initiatives

Here’s just a sampling of talent-building opportunities to explore: