Chicago Illinois TopTier1MetroChicago is often recognized for its inviting nature of entrepreneurs, visionaries, and tourism. For nearly a decade, Site Selection Magazine, a publication that reports nationwide corporate development, has announced Chicago as the Top Tier 1 Metro. Tier 1 metros refers to metropolitan areas excelling in business growth while containing a population of more than one million people.

Competing with other large cities such as Dallas, Houston, and New York, Chicago came forward in 2021 with an astounding 441 business developments. These included expansions and relocations throughout the city. The Windy City beat its own 2016 record of 424 projects. According to the city, its 2021 number of corporate developments produced $2.8 billion in investments, 18,368 employment opportunities, and nearly 60 million square feet of corporate space.

Chicago has been making notable strides in getting ahead. Earlier this year, Forbes, an American business magazine, reviewed data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau and highlighted Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport’s first-time feat of achieving the title as the nation’s top port. This institution exceeded $300 billion in earnings in 2021.

Further, the Windy City became the nation’s most sought out destination for lease agreements of properties at or greater than one million square feet. Chicago’s Clean Tech Economic Coalition was acknowledged and selected by the U.S. Development Administration as a finalist for the 60 Build Back Better Regional Challenge, a grant-funded program encouraging its participants to develop effective strategies that may result in clean energy and carbon neutrality.

Chicago continues to work hard in expanding economic development projects. The recognition provided by Site Selection Magazine is most telling as Chicago has earned the title of Top Tier 1 Metro for the ninth consecutive year.

Machinist at WorkIllinois is the second in the nation in employment of machinist. Machinists are tradespeople that create precise parts from machining tools. Machinists are tasked with creating, repairing, or modifying objects that are usually made of metal.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Illinois employs over 28,000 machinists, the only state that employees more is California. Illinois takes the lead in employment of machinists by area with Chicago, Naperville and Elgin having over 19,000 employees in the field. Rockford has the highest level of concentration of machinist jobs in the U.S.


Although they generally work with metals, they sometimes work with woods, glass, and plastics. When small parts are needed, machinists will manually set up the machine to make those pieces. For larger scale pieces Computer Numerically Controlled – or CNC – is used. CNC is equipment that is run by computers that cuts and shapes down metals to a desired size. While these pieces are being created the machinists pays close attention to it to make sure the machine is operating as expected. Once these pieces are cut down, they are inspected by engineers.


There are a variety of different types of machinists. There are machinists –known as production machinists – who specialize in a specific part. This machinist will produce large quantities of the same objects. Another common machinist is the automotive machinist, who operates on cars.


To become a machinist, one must have a high school diploma or GED. Once this is acquired, a person can learn how to be a machinist from a program through a trade school, apprenticeship, community college, or by getting an associate’s degree for it.


Machinists are essential workers who help people get the exact piece of equipment they need. Illinois is doing at a wonderful job at employing machinist and utilizing their services.

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Newspaper clipping that says "Business Booms"Illinois is leading the Midwest, and is among the top ten states nationally, in business startups, according to recently-released data from the Business Formation Statistics Report.

The Business Formation Statistics are produced by the U.S. Census Bureau and a number of economists affiliated with other accredited federal agencies. BFS collects and presents accurate data concerning new emerging businesses and startup applications across the states. The Business Formation Statistics Report for Illinois reflected outstanding statistics in the year 2021. This agency began collecting information in 2004, and since then, it has recently documented Illinois as having its highest-ever number of business startups.

Within 2021, Illinois became the center of 198,827 business startups. From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019 to the end of 2021, there was a 69% increase in business startups and entrepreneurship. As a result, Illinois ranked first in the Midwest in respect to startup creation. According to the statistics, Illinois was rated as the leading Midwest state due to having more than 40,000 startups than its closest ranked state, Ohio.

In addition, Illinois was recognized as the sixth state for highest number of business startups in 2021. Illinois followed closely behind Florida, California, and Texas. Overall, on a national level, Illinois placed eighth in startup creation growth. The drastic 69% increase from 2019 to 2021 in entrepreneurship in Illinois is profoundly telling of its residents’ desire to propel forward and contribute to the replenishing of the economy. It is quite noteworthy to acknowledge Illinois’ placement as the largest state among the top ten leading states for startup growth in the United States.

Plate of duckGrace Goudie, an Illinois native, advanced to the season finale of “Chopped” following her latest win in the competition. She will soon face-off against the remaining competitors to see who will take home the $25,000 cash prize.

Goudie began her culinary journey as a teenager, waiting tables prior to studying journalism and food science at the University of Missouri. She attended the prestigious Culinary Institute in Napa, California, and participated in the Accelerated Culinary Arts Program. Following her graduation, she worked at a number of restaurants, then returned to the Chicago area.

Goudie later received the opportunity of a lifetime. She was hired by Thomas Keller, a chef known for his exceptionally high standards and accolades, to work in his restaurants as a sous chef at Ad Hoc and later at French Laundry, a three Michelin-starred restaurant.

Having to impress the renowned judges of “Chopped” is not the only challenge with which Goudie is familiar. Her participation was urged by her mother, who is currently fighting a battle with lymphoma, but despite having to beat out the contenders with an unconventional ingredient – fish heads – she was able to rise above the competition and put herself among the finalists.

Goudie is now an executive chef of the breakfast, lunch and dinner restaurant Scratchboard Kitchen in Arlington Heights, her first restaurant which she opened during the COVID-19 pandemic. At just 30 years old, she brings pride to cooks throughout Illinois by sharing her skills with the world on Facebook and YouTube. Her website features recipes and tutorial videos for chefs to try techniques and dishes from the comfort of their own home.

The season finale of “Chopped” will air Feb. 1 on the Food Network.

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