Chicago Heights is the largest industrial center in Chicago Southland, thanks to its location, access to transportation, and its extensive pool of skilled labor. The city has more than 75 companies employing a total of 18,000 workers.
During the two decades from 1930 to 1950, Chicago Heights carried the title of "Crossroads of the Nation." It was a time when immigrants in search of work steadily flowed into the community.
It was the work ethic of these new arrivals that forever changed the character of the community and continues its influence through successive generations.
Several large manufacturing firms are located in Chicago Heights. Among these are the Ford Motor Company's stamping plant, Calumet Steel, Rhone-Polanc, United Globe Nippon, and Thrall Car, a railroad car maker.
Health services is another significant employment factor. St. James Hospital and Medical Centers and the Suburban Heights Medical Center are located in the community.
All of Chicago Heights is an Enterprise Zone. Within it are two Tax Increment Financing Districts to encourage retail development and one TIF dedicated to office space development.
Prairie State College, located in Chicago Heights, is important to the community, both from an educational standpoint and in the view of economic development. The college works closely with area business and industry to tailor training programs and courses and seminars and workshops to meet local needs. Training is offered on the campus, at the plant-site, and at the college's Corporate Training Center housed in offices of the Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce.
Homes in the community reflect its history. There are areas where preservation districts protect old, turn-of-the-century mansions. Vast blocks of brick Chicago-style bungalows, ranch homes, and tri-levels look as good today as when they were built in the decades following World War II. The city has two new subdivisions of custom-built homes on large lots.
Chicago Heights residents are active and make full use of the recreation, sports, and activity programs of the Chicago Heights Park District. The district has a nine-hole golf course that has a pro shop, clubhouse, and restaurant. The district also operates a fitness center. A year round recreation program is planned and conducted by the district with elements designed for all ages.
Residents hold strong beliefs in the value of education and provide excellent school systems. District 206 operates two high schools, Bloom and Bloom Trail, and several elementary and middle schools.
Both high schools offer college preparatory courses, while Bloom also features vocational and work study programs. Augmenting public education is a Catholic system consisting of one high school, Marian High, and five elementary schools. The Marian Catholic high school draws students from many nearby communities.
Twenty-eight miles from downtown Chicago, Chicago Heights has easy access to key highways. North-south Dixie Highway (Ill. 50) and east-west Lincoln Highway (U.S. 30) course through the city. Interstates 394 and 294 are only minutes away.



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