From train engineers to teachers to doctors: These are the 5 largest employers in Knox County

Jay Redfern
Galesburg Register-Mail

Full-time jobs are more important than ever in 2022. Here are the top employers for Knox County as we move toward Labor Day.

1. BNSF Railway

A BNSF rail terminal worker monitors the departure of a freight train Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Galesburg, Ill. The terminal is the city's largest employer.
  • Name: BNSF Railway
  • City: Galesburg
  • Number of full-time employees: 999. 
  • What they do: The Galesburg hump yard, also known as a classification yard, is the second largest rail yard for the nation's largest freight carrier. Galesburg handles 150 to 200 trains per day, sometimes eclipsing traffic at its main terminal near Kansas City, Missouri. In the month of April 2021, the team at the Galesburg hump yard broke four individual all-time, average-cars-per-day records for cars humped, pulled, arrived and departed. According to BNSF, the new average-cars-per-day facility records now stand at 1,888 humped, 1,923 cars pulled, 1,721 cars arrived, 1,847 cars departed.

2. Blick Art Materials

Blick Art Materials, based in Galesburg, is the largest and oldest provider of art supplies in the United States.
  • Name: Blick Art Materials
  • City: Galesburg
  • Number of full-time employees: 597
  • What they do: Blick's central office and two of three distribution centers are located in Galesburg, its hometown since the company began in 1911. Blick also opened the first retail store in Galesburg in 1974. According to its website, Blick Art Materials is the largest and oldest provider of art supplies in the United States.

3. Galesburg School District 205

Galesburg Dist. 205 hosted an open house to show off renovations at Martin Luther King Elementary, Lombard Middle School, and Steele Elementary on Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Pictured is Steele Elementary.
  • Name: Galesburg Community School District 205
  • City: Galesburg
  • Number of full-time employees: 584
  • What they do: Preschool through Grade 12 school district for Galesburg. Schools in the district include Bright Futures Preschool; Martin Luther King, Silas Willard and Steele elementary schools; Lombard Middle School; and Galesburg Junior/High School.

4. Knox College

The 177th Knox College Commencement, graduating the Class of 2022, was held on the lawn of Old Main on Sunday, June 5, 2022.
  • Name: Knox College
  • City: Galesburg
  • Number of full-time employees: 462
  • What they do: According to its website, Knox has 120 professors among the 462 full-time employees. Knox has approximately 1,200 students from 45 states and territories and 49 countries.

5. OSF HealthCare

OSF St. Mary Medical Center in Galesburg, Illinois.
  • Names: OSF HealthCare St. Mary Medical Center, OSF HealthCare Galesburg Clinic, OSF HealthCare Galesburg Family Practice and OSF HealthCare Prompt Care.
  • City: Galesburg
  • Number of full-time employees: 448
  • What they do: OSF HealthCare St. Mary Medical Center is a 61-bed acute care hospital providing state-of-the art therapeutic, diagnostic, medical & surgical services to Galesburg and surrounding areas. OSF HealthCare is an integrated health system owned and operated by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, headquartered in Peoria. OSF HealthCare employs nearly 24,000 Mission Partners in 150 locations, including 15 hospitals – 10 acute care, 5 critical access – with 2,089 licensed beds, and two colleges of nursing throughout Illinois and Michigan.