Workforce and Community Information


   Do Business in Springfield

Why should you choose to start or expand your business in Springfield?

While there are many reasons, the Cost of Doing Business is one that stands out. In its annual “Best Small Places for Business and Careers” published in 2017, Forbes magazine ranked the Springfield area #1 in the “Cost of Doing Business” category and 22nd overall among cities with a population less than 250,000. Rankings were based on 12 metrics relating to job growth (past and projected), costs (business and living), income growth over the past five years, educational attainment, and projected growth.

  The Future is Bright

The economy of Springfield and the surrounding area is stable, diversified, and growing. Although governmental employment is to be expected in the State’s Capital, other major employers include healthcare providers, educational institutions, insurance companies, and financial institutions. Additionally, there are many smaller local businesses to explore.

Springfield became home to a new business incubator in 2014, Innovate Springfield. Their flagship programs include social innovation and business incubation. In August 2018, Innovate Springfield became a part of the UIS System as a part of the Illinois Innovation Network.

   Skilled Workforce

Springfield boasts a strong education economy driven by numerous colleges, technical schools and universities including the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS), Robert Morris University, Lincoln Land Community College, Midwest Technical Institute, St. John’s College of Nursing, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, and the Capital Area Career Center.

We have a labor force of over 500,000 within a one hour drive of Springfield.

Employer resources include Connect, a web-based career preparation and readiness platform that links area high school students to local employers, providing them with real work experiences.This online tool integrates career development tools, social media elements, and workforce data into one seamless system to help companies, students, educators, and parents connect efficiently and effectively. To learn more, click here.

   Transportation

Conveniently located on Interstate Highways 55 and 72, Springfield is in close proximity to St. Louis to the south; Chicago to the north and Indianapolis to the east. This central location gives Springfield a reach of over 536,000 people within a 40 mile radius.

In addition to Interstate access, five Class I railroads and two short line railroads serve the city and Sangamon County, providing direct shipment to major markets throughout the United States.

Springfield's Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport is three miles northwest of the City's downtown and is a full service provider that accommodates both passenger as well as freight services.

   Healthcare

Springfield's medical and health care sectors are a core industry for central Illinois. Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) and Memorial Health Systems are our two main providers. HSHS St. John's Hospital and Memorial Medical Center are currently undergoing major expansions.

The community is also home to Springfield Clinic; Prairie Heart Institute; Prairie Education and Research Cooperative; Southern Illinois School of Medicine (SIU); Simmons Cancer Institute; along with St. John's School of Nursing and the University of Illinois at Springfield's nursing program.

Springfield is a regional provider of health care services. An example of the confidence that our medical community has in this central location is the 2015 opening of Memorial Medical Center's 72,000-square-foot, four-story Center for Learning and Innovation. As only one of six in the nation, the Center houses a state-of-the-art Simulation Center, providing learners with the opportunity to develop their skills through simulation and skills training in settings that include a nursing station, general medical patient care room, operating room, emergency treatment and trauma room, labor/delivery room, physician exam room, and outdoor ambulance setting and a home setting in addition to featuring classrooms, training rooms and a conference center.

HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital provides expert care to meet the unique need of children and their families. This amazing place was built with a special gift from a donor in the Springfield community to ensure our children have access to the best medical care possible, close to home.

   Learn More

To view statistics on major employers, the educational background of Springfield residents, occupational and industry employment and average annual wages, as well as the cost of living in Springfield, click here.

  Live in Springfield

Springfield offers the best of both worlds, big-city benefits with a small town feel. As the largest city in central Illinois, with a population of approximately 116,000, Springfield is best known for being the home of our 16th president Abraham Lincoln and the place where President Barack Obama spent his early career in politics. As the capital of the State of Illinois and seat of Sangamon County, billions of dollars of decision-making occurs here. Take a stroll around historic Downtown Springfield and you are bound to run into senators, representatives, lobbyists, association presidents, and corporate CEOs at one of the many unique restaurants, bars, or outdoor spaces.

Springfield is also a great place for Millenials to start and grow their career. Money Under 30 named Springfield #2 on its list of The Best Cities in America for Young Adults to Get Rich.

In the midst of all this activity, Springfield still boasts a small town feel. There are over 50 neighborhood associations. According to AARP, Springfield is rated 3rd in the medium city category of the best cities to make new friends.

The low cost of living is often what brings people to Springfield and encourages them to stay. Costs of housing, transportation and utilities are consistently lower than the averages for Illinois and the United States.

The lore and reputation of Abraham Lincoln has made Springfield a global destination. Many tourists flock to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum as well as the location of his home and interment. Additionally, Springfield’s cultural opportunities are diverse with over 400 special events each year, a vibrant arts scene, farm-to-table dining, shopping and plenty of recreational activities.

Programs, events, exhibits, concerts, classes and performances cross the arts spectrum. Local arts groups and councils are very active in their support for programs that meet the diverse tastes of Springfield’s art, music, and theatre patrons.

The Prairie Capital Convention Center, the Legacy Theatre, and Sangamon Auditorium, which is part of the Public Affairs Center on the campus of the University of Illinois at Springfield, play host to numerous nationally-known entertainers from Broadway plays, to major symphony orchestras, to popular music groups, and comedic entertainment. The Springfield Muni Opera presents four Broadway musicals each year between June and August at its 750 seat open-air theatre near Lake Springfield.

The Illinois State Fair annually brings top nationally known entertainers to the community and the fair itself is a major event drawing hundreds of thousands of people each summer.

The Springfield Parks District operates 35 parks as well as indoor ice rinks, outdoor pools, bike trails, golf courses, botanical gardens, athletic facilities, and a zoo! In addition, the Parks District offers TONS of programs ranging in age from pre-school to seniors for education, recreation, and more.

Springfield is also home to the largest municipally owned lake in Illinois. Lake Springfield, a 4200-acre reservoir, is a major central Illinois recreation center offering boating, fishing, and water sports. The 57 miles of shoreline includes over 735 residential sites, eight public parks, and several public boat docks and launches. The lake and lake-area parts are host to some 600,000 recreational visitors each year.

Historic Route 66, originally spanning from Chicago to Santa Monica, runs through downtown Springfield. Arguably the most famous road in the United States, this former “Main Street of America” was a major roadway connecting the Midwest to the West Coast. You can still stop in and catch a flick at the Rout 66 Twin Drive-In or stop in at a local diner.

If you are a foodie, you will love Springfield. Hailed as the unofficial diner capital of Illinois, Springfield showcases some of the best comfort food in the state. Charlie Parker’s Diner was named Grand Champion in the Thomas’ Hometown Breakfast Battle, a contest with 135 restaurants from across the nation. Springfield is famous for originating the horseshoe, an open-faced sandwich consisting of thick-sliced toasted bread, a hamburger patty, French fries, and a "secret" cheese sauce. Different versions are offered around town, including at the nation’s first drive-thru, Made-Rite.