With approximately 611,000 workers within a 40-minute drive, DeKalb County is the best location for your company. DeKalb County employers draw from a labor market that includes nine surrounding counties, including Kane, Kendall, Boone, Winnebago, and Ogle counties.

The DeKalb County labor market employs…

124,000+  Production, Transportation, and Material Moving workers,
35,000+ Computer, Engineering, and Science workers,
110,000+ in Management, business, and finance workers.

Top 40 Employers List (2023) TopEmployers_Feb2023

To learn about education in the workforce, please visit our page Education-Workforce-Development

Kishwaukee College – Business & Workforce Training 

Are you an employer who needs help providing professional development opportunities to your employees? Do you have a business goal that requires staff training? Kishwaukee can help.

Kishwaukee provides comprehensive training and curriculum development, qualified trainers with industry experience, cost-effective resources to meet your training needs, and a thorough needs assessment to provide relevant training solutions. Let them help you develop your employees and grow your business.

All business or workforce training is cost-effective. Contact Kishwaukee today so they can help you get the job done and click here for more information!

Point of Contact:

LaCretia  Konan

Dean of Workforce & Community Education

P: 815-825-9791  E:

Ensuring that DeKalb County has a talent pipeline that meets the needs of workers and employers.

This summer 71 of you took the time to respond to our DCEDC hiring practices survey. We thank you for participating and helping our committee to better understand the talent pipeline challenges our business community is facing across DeKalb County. Also, if you missed out on the survey window and would like to share your perspective, we welcome your feedback at any time.

Below is an executive summary of the survey responses and we’ve attached the full survey results to this email as well.

Hiring Practices Survey Executive Summary

About jobs:

  • Most companies are looking to hire less than 10 employees per year
  • Majority of open positions are replacements or retirements
  • In general, most positions are full time and require a high school diploma or certificate

About recruiting:

  • Most employees use a mix of Company website, Internet Job Boards and Employee Referrals to source candidates, with Internet Job Boards and Employee Referral sourcing the best quality of candidates
  • Recruitment tends to take 1-3 months, longer for more highly / mid-skilled candidates
  • Biggest recruitment challenge is a limited pool of qualified candidates

About options for support:

  • County-wide job posting board where all area jobs could be posted
  • Additional workforce development opportunities and/or skills training for local graduates
  • Regular networking opportunities or roundtable sessions for local employers to learn more about the local workforce and recruitment best practices

Common themes, quick wins and Committee action items / next steps

We think you’ll find from the survey responses that, regardless of the size or industry, there are common hiring/workforce themes that resonate for us all. As action items / next steps, our Committee is exploring ways we can bring productive talent pipeline discussions, best practice and education, and resources more fully to our members.

Our first ‘quick win’ is to bring forward, the current hiring/workforce development resource listing forward on our DCEDC website. These local and state educational partners and workforce development agencies have information, templates, and connections to share. Be sure to reach out to them with your questions or request for help as a first step.

Education & Workforce Development Links

Our Committee’s next step is also in motion. We are looking to plan a series of conversations/workshops (maybe ‘lunch and learn’ or virtual format or a combination of both) featuring community / professional experts to lead conversations/workshops around these common themes:

Themes/ideas of support

  • Tools, Tips and Technology Lunch and Learn: A workshop to share resources and support for reaching job seekers online / social media/posting support
  • Creating a Compelling Company Story Best Practices: Best practice on sharing your company’s brand, culture and careers with job seekers – those available now and in the future (reach schools / educational partners earlier)
  • Workforce Development Support and Skills Training Conversation: How do we ensure a continuous pipeline of skilled workers across the community – either new workers coming into the workforce or by supporting the upskilling of current workforce towards successful career progression

As part of the ongoing conversation, we’re also exploring the idea of a ‘one-stop posting board’ where we can better bring applicants and employers together more productively.

Our goal is to have an action plan in place by the end of the year and to bring educational talent pipeline programming to you in the new year.

Again, we welcome your feedback or ideas related to the Committee’s area of focus. If you’d like to join us, we’d love to have you come on board.

DCEDC Hiring Practices Survey

Best regards,

Jennifer and Paul Callighan


DCEDC CEDS Committee #1: Talent Pipeline


Workforce/Labor Market Data
Education & Workforce Development

NIU is one of DeKalb County’s most competitive advantages, offering many distinguished and highly accredited programs.

Huskies Keep Going……

Partnerships with and resources from Northern Illinois University

and Kishwaukee College ensures our workforce has the superior skills employers need and opportunities for continued growth and development.