The Southeastern Illinois region is a progressive, pro-business community made up of 13 counties. This region has a trade population of over 175,000 and a transportation system that industrial and commercial companies find desirable. These include the intersection of interstate highways I-70 & I-57, in addition to two separate rail lines servicing Canadian National & CSX intersect in Effingham County and the border of Clay/Marion Counties. Union Pacific operates on Class I railways, while Eastern Illinois and Indiana Rail Road Companies operate regional rail service within the region. Coles County Memorial Airport, Edgar County Airport, Effingham County Memorial Airport and Salem-Leckrone Airport provide the region with public-use airports.
Southeastern Illinois is marked by many parks and wildlife attractions:
- Ballard Nature Center
- Crawford County State Fish and Wildlife Area
- Fox Ridge State Park
- Lincoln Trail State Park
- Red Hills State Park
- Sam Parr State Fish and Wildlife Area
- Walnut Point State Park
The region’s signature company, North American Lighting, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the prominent Japanese firm Koito Manufacturing, is one of the leading producers of automobile lighting products. With five locations in three different counties within the Southeast Region, North American Lighting is one of the area’s strongest employers.
With over 5,000 employees, most of whom are located within the Southeast Region’s three locations, North American Lighting has provided a vast array of innovative and technological job opportunities to the area’s residents.
- Primary Metal Manufacturing
- Electrical Equipment, Appliance & Component Manufacturing
- Transportation Equipment Manufacturing
- Agribusiness, Food Processing & Technology Mining
- Transportation & Logistics
- Machinery Manufacturing
- Chemicals & Chemical Based Products
- Glass & Ceramics
- Fossil & Renewable Energy
- Forest & Wood Products
- Computer & Electronic Product Manufacturing
- Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing
- Arts, Entertainment, Recreation & Visitor Industries
The Southeast Region includes a strong industry workforce, employing more than 100,000 employees across a multitude of industry sectors. The Agribusiness and Manufacturing sectors anchor the region with thousands of employees, along with many high-profile automotive suppliers calling the region home such as North American Lighting, Toyota Boshoku, and Dana Sealing. These companies continue to expand and grow within the region, most recently with Toyota Boshoku completing a 126,000 square foot expansion project to upgrade its Illinois production capabilities.
Colleges and Universities
Lake Land College and North American Lighting partnered together to create the NAL Fast-Track Tech Program. As an eight week training course designed specifically to address North American Lighting’s need to add an additional 300 jobs to its workforce, the program allowed students to experience a wide array of industrial and technological skills important to the company. Completion of the program qualified students to enter into a nine-week long paid training program at one of the three facilities North American Lighting operates in Illinois: Flora, Salem, and Paris. Beginning wages for these positions range from $16-18 per hour, with the possibility to earn benefits. While the program costs under $1,800 to complete, but applicants are eligible to receive financial aid.
EMPLOYMENT & TRAINING
Click here to learn more about this region’s population statistics, local workforce area, community college district boundaries and locations, demographics (such as percentage of veterans, household income, educational attainment, and poverty level), employment projections by industry, and community college graduates by career cluster.
REGION SPECIFIC ASSISTANCE
The Illinois Department of Commerce is Your One-Stop Resource
- Site Selection
- Customized Workforce Training
- Regional & Local Collaboration
- Expedited Permitting, Licensing & Other Approvals
- Connection to Key Stakeholders and Civic & Business Partners
- Potential Financial Support
- And More!