Made in Illinois: 200 for 200

Even in our ever-changing globalized economy, there are nearly 13,000 manufacturing firms in Illinois that employ more than 580,000 people, many of them union workers.

That’s not to mention the growing number of independent artisans, crafters and DIYers that don’t fall under the traditional manufacturing label.

That’s way too many to show here, so the Sun-Times is celebrating the state’s bicentennial by highlighting 200. Some are Fortune 500 companies with factories and workers spanning the globe, others are mom-and-pop operations and a proud few are companies of one. Many of the 200 are in Chicago, but others are in villages like tiny Ava, population 662. Some have operated for more than a century, some just opened for business in 2018.

Here’s what they all have in common: They all call Illinois home — a state that has made the food you eat, the clothes you wear, the cars you drive and more for 200 years straight.