Chicago Skyline for ArticleAccording to a new set of federal employment data. The city of Chicago and the metropolitan area is now growing at a faster rate than the nation.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly survey of households and employers found Illinois added nearly 100,000 jobs from June 2018 to June 2019. Chicago’s job-growth gain percentage was 1.8, with the national average coming in at a 1.5 percent increase. The growth in the past year tops other comparable Midwestern cities such as Indianapolis and Cleveland. Cites such as New York and Los Angeles reported growth at 1.2 and 1.4 percent.

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Illinois roadsA new study shows that young Illinoisans are some of the best teenage drivers in the nation. According to financial writer Adam McCann and WalletHub’s research, Illinois has been ranked 9th in the nation for teen driver safety. Rankings are based on several criteria, including teen driver fatality rates, average cost of car repairs and the presence of impaired driving laws.

The report suggests that Illinois driving laws, which WalletHub ranks 6th in the nation, are one of the main causes for the state’s high ranking. A few important tips to keep in mind according to the experts from the study include, keeping night driving to a minimum, simple incentives for safe driving and avoid using any sort of device while behind the wheel. Click here for more information.

 

ILI RIPE ImageScientists at the University of Illinois have found a way to enhance yields by engineering a more efficient way for crops to convert sunlight into energy.

Researchers participating in an international study called Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency – or RIPE – have discovered that most crops on the planet experience suppressed yield potential as a result of a glitch in photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert sunlight into energy.

To combat the problem, scientists have developed a shortcut in the photosynthetic process that can make crops about 40 percent more productive. The study estimates that up to 200 million additional people could be fed with the production lost during photosynthesis in the Midwest.

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Forbes LogoIllinois is home to one of the nation’s best workplaces for manufacturing and production, according to a new report from Fortune magazine.

Fona International, a Geneva-based food and beverage manufacturer, ranks third on Fortune’s 2018 list of “The 20 Best Workplaces for Manufacturing and Production.”

Founded in 1987, Fona employs more than 200 people in Illinois. Among Fona employees, 96 percent say the company is a great place to work.

Fortune’s rankings are compiled by surveying employees from companies throughout the country on their experiences in the workplace.

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IHC Kenny Lake Shore Drive I 55 3 752x400The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has earned the Grand Prize in the 2018 America’s Transportation Awards, the top honor for state departments of transportation. The award was presented to IDOT at the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials annual meeting in Atlanta this week.   

IDOT’s Interstate 55-Lake Shore Drive interchange took the top prize in the “Best Use of Technology & Innovation, Medium Project,” prize for its use of a temporary bridge to accommodate inbound I-55 traffic to southbound Lake Shore Drive.

“We are proud to bring this award home to Illinois for the first time,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said in a press release. “The innovation that made this project stand out represents IDOT’s enthusiasm and commitment for creating and maintaining a safe and efficient transportation system for travelers statewide. Our employees strive to find creative solutions each and every day in everything they do to keep Illinois moving.”

The project saves the public countless hours of delays by avoiding extended closures and detours during the reconstruction. It also increases safety, reduces congestion and connects a major interstate and an urban expressway near some of Chicago’s most popular recreational and educational destinations, according to IDOT.

The 2018 competition attracted 79 project nominations from state departments of transportation in 35 states. An independent panel of industry judges selected the Grand Prize winner, while the project receiving the highest number of online votes earned the Socrata People's Choice Award.

The award also included a $10,000 cash prize for a local nonprofit organization, which IDOT will give to the Special Olympics.

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