ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- A new report shows nearly 600,000 Illinoisans work in the manufacturing sector.
According to the report from the Illinois Manufacturers' Association, Winnebago County has the 5th largest concentration of manufacturing jobs in the state.
IMA president Mark Denzler stopped by the stateline to discuss the importance of the industry in society. He says its crucial for lawmakers to understand and appreciate the impact manufacturing has on the economy.
"Most people don't realize the cool things that are being made in Illinois, across the state, either its here in town or the forest city," said Denzler."Gear manufacturing is the single largest sector and its got the biggest economical multiplier so manufacturing is a critical cognitive in the states economy and Rockford economy."
The report found the manufacturing industry in Illinois generates $304.8 billion in output each year, which amounts to 12 percent of the Gross State Product.