filmingchicagoThe age of “peak TV” in the entertainment industry is good news for film crew jobs in Illinois, according to the Illinois Film Office.

The Illinois Film Office estimates $599 million was spent in 2016 on films, commercials and television productions in the state – a 51 percent increase over the year before. That included 345 television, commercial and film projects for the year.

The boom in filming has brought a flow of steady employment, particularly behind the camera. These jobs include positions for the cast, crew and office staff.

Chicago PD, or [Chicago] Fire, or [Chicago] Med -- or Empire, you’re looking at 10 months of consistent employment, particularly behind the camera,” Illinois Film Office Director Christine Dudley said to Northern Public Radio. “For every television program, you are looking at 300 people behind the camera building the sets, running the cameras, dressing the sets, finding the costumes, doing the hair and make-up, and special effects, on and on and on.”

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Wind FarmOne year after the passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act, Illinois now leads the Midwest in new clean energy jobs.

According to a report by issued by E2 and Clean Energy Trust in September, almost 120,000 people work in the clean energy industry in Illinois, up 4.8 percent from 2015, and with growth six times faster than overall job growth in the state. Illinois also continues to lead the Midwest in overall number of clean energy jobs, including renewable energy generation, advanced grid production and maintenance, energy efficiency, clean fuels and advanced transportation.

The Future Energy Jobs Act is also good news for consumers, who will see $4 billion in reduced energy bills over the 10-year period proscribed by the law. The act includes millions of dollars to assist low-income residents, including valuable solar panel installation jobs training.

For more information, see the complete report at E2’s website here.

SolarPanels

A recent report by the Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC) shows that the renewable energy sector is thriving in Illinois. This is good news for both the environment, which benefits from lower carbon emissions, and the economy, which benefits from the continued growth of the green energy sector.

In recent years, Illinois policymakers have taken steps to encourage research, development and growth of renewable energy. The first step toward this goal is to ensure that Illinois’ workforce has the skills to build and maintain a renewable energy infrastructure.

The Future Energy Jobs Act went into effect in June of 2017. This new law helps position Illinois as a leader in zero-carbon electricity by dedicating hundreds of millions of dollars to renewable power development including funding for wind power, large-scale solar power, and rooftop and community solar programs. The Act also provides job training for the thousands of new jobs expected in the fields of energy efficiency, energy innovation and renewable power.

Due to this large-scale investment in renewable energy, green power is on track to deliver an increasingly large share of electrical power. According to estimates by the ELPC, solar energy is expected to contribute an increasingly large share of power to the grid. By 2030, experts predict that Illinois’ stock of solar panels will have grown by 4,000 percent.

The solar energy industry in Illinois shows a particularly promising growth trend. Reports indicate that over 6,000 people are employed by the more than 350 companies that make up the state’s solar industry. As solar power continues to grow across the state, even more economic activity is sure to follow.

Efforts to encourage broader use of efficient and renewable energy technologies are already underway. Local governments can now establish a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing Program, which is a tool to encourage homeowners and businesses to invest in energy efficiency.

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computer A report by the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition and LinkedIn names Illinois as the country’s second largest producer of computer science graduates, with one out of every 10 degrees in the country going to a graduate from an Illinois school. The report also showed that Illinois rose from a rank of 43rd in STEM field graduates in 2012 to a rank of 9th in 2016.

Illinois is also conferring more STEM degrees on graduates than the national average. In 2016, Illinois schools conferred 40,000 STEM field degrees on students, or about 32 percent of all graduates. The national average for the percentage of STEM degrees as a portion of all graduates is about 28 percent.

The study also showed a lower turnover in Chicago for software engineers, with employees staying on at their companies longer than in other regions. It also showed Chicago retains more of its computer science workers than some other cities, keeping about half of them.

For more information, read the full report here.

Walgreenswalgreens300 is expanding its technology office in Chicago, which will bring 300 new employees to the central loop district through new hires and relocations from the company’s headquarters in Deerfield.

The Walgreens retail pharmacy and technology team will be located in the Sullivan Center. The 300 new jobs will support the company’s largest line of business, the technology side that handles pharmaceutical sales.

Walgreens opened its technology office in 2010 and currently serves as its digital hub. The technology team is responsible for the computer systems that operate stores across the United States.

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