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Illinois is a major manufacturing hub, home to 14,660 manufacturing companies, making it a top state to keep on your radar.
MNI, compiler and publisher of the industrial data that powers IndustrySelect, has been in touch with Illinois manufacturers since 1912, since its flagship Illinois Manufacturers Directory, first published in 1912. Over the years, MNI has published vast amounts of data on the state’s industrial sector. In fact, the Chicago Tribune has called our Illinois Manufacturers Directory the "annual report card on the state of manufacturing."
Today, we’re going to delve into the most recent trends on Illinois’ rich and varied manufacturing sector and explore some of the state’s top companies.
Illinois is currently home to 14,660 manufacturers employing 735,084 workers, making it among the largest industrial states in the U.S. According to IndustrySelect database of 400,000 U.S. manufacturing companies, there are 39,364 executive contacts among Illinois’ manufacturing companies, including 8,345 presidents, 3,631 owners and partners; 5,317 vice-presidents and 5,189 sales, marketing and purchasing executives.
Other facts to know about Illinois manufacturers, based on IndustrySelect’s advanced criteria available to subscribers:
• 8% are publicly owned companies
• 12% import raw materials
• 26% distribute their products internationally
• 2% are women-owned
• 1% are minority-owned
Over the past year, several industries reported job gains, including metal household furniture, up 192%; biological products, up 108%; fabricated pipe fittings, up 98%, and dog & cat food, up 70%. These were offset by losses in crude petroleum & natural gas, down 83%; construction sand & gravel, down 79%; and semiconductor & related devices, down 52%..
According to MNI, Chicago remains the state’s top industrial city by number of manufacturing jobs, accounting for 94,206 jobs.
Rockford accounts for the second most jobs in the state, home to 17,404 workers, while third-ranked Elk Grove Village account for 16,573. Fourth-ranked Elgin accounts for 11,694 jobs and Wheeling is home to 10,206.
Next, we’ll take a look at the state’s top companies.
|Ford Motor Co., Chicago Assembly Plt.||5,810||Chicago||IL|
|Medline Industries, Inc.||5,000||Northfield||IL|
|FCA US, LLC||3,879||Belvidere||IL|
|AbbVie, Inc.||3,400||North Chicago||IL|
|Continental Tire The Americas||3,400||Mount Vernon||IL|
|Allied Building Products Corp.||3,000||Arlington Heights||IL|
|Dot Foods, Inc.||2,500||Mount Sterling||IL|
|Tyson Foods, Inc.||2,400||Hillsdale||IL|
|Caterpillar Inc., Track-Type Tractors Div.||2,200||East Peoria||IL|
Above: Inside the Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant, the largest manufacturer in the state of Illinois. (Image courtesy of: Ford Media Center)
1. Ford Motor Co., Chicago Assembly Plt. (Chicago, IL)
Ford’s assembly plant on Chicago’s South side is a major employer in the state, home to 5,810 employees. Opened in 1924, the storied 2.8 million square-foot plant occupies 113 acres and currently produces the Ford Explorer, Lincoln Aviator and the Police Interceptor Utility.
3. Medline Industries, Inc. (Northfield, IL)
Medline Industries is a major medical equipment manufacturer, located in the Chicago north suburb of Northfield. The company is both a manufacturer and distributor of medical supplies, as well as clinical programs. Employing 5,000, the company produces a wide range of supplies including surgical appliances, uniforms, rubber gloves, nursing supplies, wound care supplies, and has been a major producer of PPE equipment during the COVID-19 outbreak.
3. FCA U.S., LLC. (Belvidere, IL)
FCA or Fiat Chrysler USA is a major player in the U.S. auto industry and its Belvidere plant is among the largest in the U.S. with 3,879 employees. Opened in 1965, the plant sits on 280 acres, operating out of a 5.3 million square-foot plant, where it produces sheet metal parts and FCA’s Jeep Cherokee.
4. AbbVie, Inc. (North Chicago, IL)
AbbVie, Inc., previously known as Abbot Labs is a major pharmaceutical manufacturer and research hub for pharmaceuticals. Located in suburb of North Chicago, the facility houses 3,400 at a massive campus for drug research and production of major pharmaceuticals such as HUMIRA, Lupron, Synagis, and Kaletra.
5. Continental Tire The Americas (Mount Vernon, IL)
At the Continental Tire facility in Mount Vernon, IL, 3,400 employees produce radial passenger and truck tires at a 3-million square foot facility.
6. Allied Building Products Corp (Arlington Heights, IL)
At this suburban 50,000 square-foot Chicago facility, employees produce wholesale building materials, including lumber, plywood and millwork as well as brick, stone and related materials. With 3,000 employees, this is the state’s 6th-largest industrial company.
7. Dot Foods, Inc. (Mount Sterling, IL)
Dot Foods is a wholesaler of a dizzying array of dry, frozen & refrigerated food service and nonfood products, including such popular brands as Land O’ Lakes, Handy Seafood and Beer Nuts.
The Mount Sterling location is the company’s manufacturing headquarters, where it occupies 2.6 million square feet of space. The company offers 100,000 products from 650 manufacturers across the U.S.
8. Navistar, Inc. (Lisle, IL)
Established in 1902, Navistar produces commercial trucks, school buses and diesel engines at a 3.1 million square foot facility, bringing in $985 million in sales.
The plant employs 2,500 employees, making it the 8th largest industrial company in the state.
9. Tyson Foods, Inc. (Hillsdale, IL)
At this massive meatpacking plant in Hillsdale, IL., 2,400 employees operate in a 500,000 square-foot facility. Tyson is a food industry giant, boasting one of the largest protein portfolios in the food industry.
Some of its most notable brands include Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Ball Park and Aidelles.
10. Caterpillar Inc., Advanced Components & Systems Division (East Peoria, IL)
Rounding out our top 10 list is Caterpillar, one of Illinois’ largest and oldest industrial employers. Established in 1911 as a manufacturer of farm implements and steam traction engines, the East Peoria facility focuses on equipment transmissions for the construction industry and power train systems. The facility is home to 2,200 employees and encompasses 1.2 million square feet.
MNI has been in direct contact with Illinois manufacturers for more than a century. For those looking to do business with manufacturers in Illinois and beyond, IndustrySelect's database of 500,000 U.S. industrial companies and one million executives is a top resource for lead generation in the manufacturing sector.
An IndustrySelect subscription can put you on a first-name basis with Illinois' 16,000 industrial companies and 50,000 executives.
Subscribers can select up to 30 data points on any manufacturing company in the U.S. to help identify or pre-qualify leads.
Company profiles also include the contact information for hard-to-find executive decision-makers. Try a free demo today!
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Editor's Note: This article was originally published in June of 2020. It has been updated to reflect new statistics collected in 2023.