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October is Manufacturing Month!

October is Manufacturing Month!
October 3, 2023 Billy George

October is Manufacturing Month! Manufacturing Month is a chance for us to celebrate and highlight the manufacturing industry’s many contributions to the local, state, and national economy, and it has a BIG impact here in Stephenson County. In 2022, the total gross regional product (GRP) for the Stephenson County manufacturing sector was $612,200,000.

Here are some current, Q3-2023, data points about the Stephenson County manufacturing workforce: There are 3,120 manufacturing jobs – which is more than double the national average of 1,432*. The average earning per job is $79,425. Competition from online job posting is high in the county, 44 local job postings in the manufacturing sector while the national average is 26*.

In Stephenson County, retirement risk for manufacturing employees is 896 – slightly higher than the national average of 866*. However, the racial diversity of manufacturing employees is low; 738 employees identify as non-white. The national average for an area this size is 1,123*. Additionally, gender diversity is low. The national average for an area this size is 924* female employees. It is 743 in Stephenson County.

Most manufacturing jobs are found in the Production Occupations Industry Sector. See breakdown below.

Throughout the month of October, the Partnership will spotlight and celebrate area manufacturers and their employees. We will also talk about how our educational partners are working with local industry leaders to build our future workforce pipeline.

*National average values are derived by taking the national value for Manufacturing and scaling it down to account for the difference in-overall workforce size between the nation and Stephenson County, IL. In other words, the values represent the national average adjusted for region size.

Data Source: Lightcast Industry Snapshot, Stephenson County, Manufacturing

Andrea Schultz Winter is the Interim Executive Director for the Greater Freeport Partnership. She can be reached at or 815-233-1354.