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Two big jobs announcements ahead of election day

Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014

* The patented Pat Quinn close kicks into a higher gear. ABC 7

Amazon plans to bring 1,000 full-time jobs to Illinois.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin called the plan a $75 million investment in the state. Amazon officials have not decided on a location but will begin site visits. The online seller plans to open its first facility in the state next year.

Top draws to the state include the area’s transportation network and skilled workforce, according to a release from Quinn and Durbin. They say Amazon will have the chance to expand.

The hiring starts next year in Illinois, according to Amazon, and the company plans on having 1,000 employees in the facility by 2017.

* AP

A chemical company has chosen a site in eastern Illinois over one in Iowa for a $1.4 billion fertilizer plant, and plans to establish its U.S. headquarters in Chicago, two officials familiar with the decision said Monday.

Cronus Chemicals LLC will build the plant near Tuscola, about 20 miles south of Champaign, Illinois, the officials confirmed separately. They spoke on condition of anonymity because neither was authorized to discuss the decision ahead of an official announcement by state, local and company officials expected Wednesday in Tuscola.

The plant will produce the nitrogen-based fertilizers, urea and ammonia, and will employ about 175 people, the officials said. Construction is expected to begin in the spring and will take about three years, creating about 2,000 temporary jobs. The Chicago headquarters will employ about 25 more, the officials said.

So, we beat Iowa, eh? I hope we didn’t pay too much to beat them because they way outbid us last time.

Still, this reminds me of something.

What was it?

* Oh, right, it was a Tribune editorial entitled “Bye-bye, jobs” from 2012, when Iowa won a bidding war over a different fertilizer plant because, apparently, Illinois sucks

If anyone in Chicago or Springfield still denies that this state’s sorry record of corruption and taxpayer debt is costing Illinois excellent jobs, take it from billionaire Nassef Sawiris.

The University of Chicago grad heads a global firm, Orascom Construction Industries, the biggest company in Egypt. He has set out to build a giant new plant to make fertilizer from natural gas in America’s agricultural heartland.

Illinois and Iowa competed aggressively for the $1.4 billion project, which will create hundreds of precious, stable, good-paying jobs. Both states offered lavish incentives. […]

Nevertheless, he chose Iowa for his investment, at a site just four miles from the Illinois border. […]

This is a terrible loss for Illinois. Once it’s built — the biggest capital investment ever in Iowa — this massive fertilizer plant can’t move. It is a long-term bet for Orascom, and a long-term source of jobs, related commerce and tax revenues for the Hawkeye State.

One can’t help but wonder if the Trib will now editorialize about this win over Iowa.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    Power. Of. Incumbency.

    That, and the Quinn playbook;

    “No we don’t signal in plays from the sidelines, we just run the same plays, you have to counter them.”

  2. - OneMan - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    actually the bigger win on the Amazon thing will be the collection of sales taxes…

    In general it appears the warehouse jobs kind of suck at Amazon from what I have read.

  3. - anon - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    Sales Tax Collection?

  4. - Responsa - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    This about Amazon and Cronus is welcome news. It would have been nice to have both of them and Orascom, too.

  5. - Norseman - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    I see a new ad coming with Quinn driving up in front of a farm house in a Ford full of workers. He goes to the back pulls out an Amazon box and a bag of Cronus fertilizer and talks about new jobs as he plops the stuff on the front steps. His end line is: “Unlike Rauner, who spreads fertilizer campaign promises, I deliver fertilizer jobs.”

  6. - A guy... - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    It’s official. We won a urea contest with Iowa.

  7. - Jose Abreu's next homer - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 12:05 pm:

    Is Quinn not releasing the news of the Shake Shack opening in Chicago next Tuesday @ 11AM because that’ll impair voter turnout at polling places?

  8. - OneMan - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 12:05 pm:

    Sales Tax Collection?

    Yep, Amazon would have a nexus in Illinois, so therefore Illinois residents would be charged sales tax on Amazon purchases.

  9. - walker - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 12:05 pm:

    The Rauner counter? “My wife says I am a good guy after all.”

    Any one of a dozen commenters on this blog could probably write an effective, positive, 15- second “job creator” ad for Rauner, which would stand up to scrutiny at least thru election day.

    Not to mention [don’t you just love that phrase]the one emphasizing executive and financial leadership that we should have heard this Spring and Summer.

    Those would have confirmed what voters and editorial boards want to believe about Bruce, about which they have been provided no clear evidence so far.

    Why is the Rauner campaign so afraid to delve into Bruce’s business experience to sell their candidate?

    It still doesn’t make sense.

  10. - Jimmy CrackCorn - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 12:06 pm:

    In addition to OneMan’s comment re: Amazon Tax… Does this mean Coupon Cabin and those one-off Amazon affiliated businesses can move back to Chicago?

  11. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 12:07 pm:

    === One can’t help but wonder if the Trib will now editorialize about this win over Iowa. ===


    When we lose a couple hundred jobs, it is the end of the world. When we gain a thousand jobs, it is a drop in the bucket.

    Unless of course there is a Republican in the governor’s mansion.

  12. - foster brooks - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    Nobody brings up the 200 highway maintenance jobs that are being filled right now at idot . all veterans too

  13. - Stuff Happens - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 12:23 pm:

    And don’t forget the Coyote Logistics expansion, bringing another 500 jobs.

  14. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 12:24 pm:

    Walker, I’m not sure that Rauner could produce a job creator spot. If the coulda, they woulda.

    Besides the obvious bust outs, the business model might have been chopping up companies and selling the pieces.

    Remember, the goal is ROI to the funds, not building businesses. Vampire capitalism.

  15. - Weltschmerz - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 12:29 pm:

    Great work men, 423,000 to go. Don’t hurt yourselves doing the sack dance.

  16. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 12:34 pm:

    The Trib will cover the win over Iowa the same way it covered the controversy over Chicago charter schools test scores (that is, dust off old stories that confirm the Trib’s biases rather than report the current news that disproves them).

  17. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 12:37 pm:

    OneMan -

    I worked in a packing facility during one of my college summer breaks. It was the worst job ever.

    Rich -

    Would the Tuscola plant be somewhat attributed to last year’s “Christmas Tree” bill?

  18. - Nearly Normal - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    Yep, Trib article does mention that Amazon will now have to collect sales taxes “like any other retailer…”

  19. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    Tax-Flee Dance! - Men Without Hats, enhanced by VanillaMan


    We can move if we need to
    We can leave this state behind
    ‘Cause our tax is too high and when the tax is too high
    Then we’ll just say, buh-bye!

    Say, we can move to Texas
    A place that booming with growth
    We’ll frack for gas while mowing our grass
    We’ll get a Porsche, a Caddie – or both!

    Say, Florida is a place that’s better
    Our retired friends say its the best
    The beach and the sun, the ‘gators and the fun
    Disney World is their retirement nest.

    We can move, we should move
    Everything’s out of control
    We can leave, by New Year’s Eve
    Illinois has fallen into a hole
    Tax-Flee Dance!
    Tax-Flee Dance!
    Tax-Flee Dance!

    Say, we can move if we need to
    If we don’t nobody will…..
    Fix this state, it’s way too late
    And it run by an imbecile

    And say
    We can move, we should move
    Everyone’s losing their job
    We can leave, by New Year’s Eve
    Illinois is looking for folks to rob

    We can move, we should move
    It costs too much to live here
    We can move, got nothing to lose
    We’re tired of living in this Blagosphere!

    Tax-Flee Dance!
    Tax-Flee Dance!
    Tax-Flee Dance!
    It’s the Tax-Flee Dance!
    Well it’s a Tax-Flee Dance!
    Oh it’s a Tax-Flee Dance!
    Oh it’s a Tax-Flee Dance!
    Well it’s a Tax-Flee Dance!

  20. - Cronus Guy - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 12:41 pm:

    Wasn’t just Iowa. Cronus chose Illinois over 75 other sites in eight other states. Big win for IL!

  21. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 12:47 pm:

    Can’t we just accept this as good news and move on? Of course we can’t. I’m sure the good news is bad news people will be along shortly.

  22. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 12:49 pm:

    ==urea contest==

    Good word.

  23. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 12:56 pm:

    This and the last few months of jobs numbers throws a lot of water on the talking point that Illinois is on the brink of permanent economic decline.

    I can almost feel the undecideds flipping to Quinn.
    [just kidding]

  24. - stan - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 1:27 pm:

    Any idea how much $ in incentives the state gave Amazon?

  25. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 1:27 pm:

    The merchants of doom and gloom, the Tribune. It would absolutely kill them to report anything positive in the financial department. That would hurt pension theft, oh, I mean reform.

  26. - THEGUN - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 1:33 pm:

    day late and dollar short for illinois with Amazon.

    In October, Amazon announced it will open a 1-million-square-foot distribution center in Kenosha, which is just south of Milwaukee and 60 miles north of Chicago. On Tuesday, Amazon announced it will be opening a second, 500,000-square-foot center in Kenosha. With the help of more than $24 million in state and local tax credits, the company hopes to have the first center up and running by 2015, bringing in 1,100 jobs. The second center would bring in an additional 575 jobs.

    Someone want to ask Quinn and Mikey where they were on these two???

  27. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 1:37 pm:

    ==I’m sure the good news is bad news people will be along shortly==

    ==day late and dollar short for illinois with Amazon.==

    And here comes that crowd. I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed.

  28. - Jimmy - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 1:46 pm:

    So let me get this straight: The Director of Commerce can give incentives to a company before they commit to a site, jobs and investment? (Bloomberg article)

    Any normal company could never do this! In fact, I don’t think the rules or statute allow this! Maybe they found some special money!

  29. - 1776 - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 1:54 pm:

    Cronus is betting on fracturing. More than 80 percent of the feedstock for fertilizer is natural gas and they wanted to be close to the New Albany shale in Illinois. Plus they got a nice tax package from the General Assembly as icing on the cake.

  30. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:03 pm:

    Wonder if Durbin and Quinn will be asked about Amazon’s non-union workforce and news reports such as the 2/14 Salon piece about less than wonderful working conditions at their distribution centers.

  31. - Millie K. - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:12 pm:

    Quinn elected…..500
    Union jobs gone at Murray….not being replaced…but then, oh yeah…..Quinn has always told us in Southern Illinois, “I don’t need southern Illinois votes to win this election”….sure hope we prove him wrong…..

  32. - THEGUN - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:17 pm:

    good news bad news people are called realists.

    “Sometimes a pessimist is just a well informed optimist”

    Fact is , (not good news or bad news), Wisconsin is Building NOW..all we get is same old hot air…

  33. - THEGUN - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:18 pm:

    Call it what you want, but jobs, union or not were Lost in Illinois…

  34. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:30 pm:


  35. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:43 pm:


    So let me get this straight. New jobs = bad. Attracting companies to Illinois = bad. Got it. Just want to be on the same page.

  36. - Jaded - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 2:57 pm:

    No surprise, after all he is the “Jobs Governor.”

  37. - Ken_in_Illinois - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:00 pm:

    I’m half expecting backlash for the loss of tax free Amazon purchases - people vote their pocketbook, and the taxes going out are more personal and immediate to most than the state’s increased tax revenue.

  38. - Cronus Guy - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 3:14 pm:

    Cronus is not counting on fracking. Illinois has numerous natural gas pipelines that criss-cross the state where the company will draw the natural gas.

  39. - Not it - Tuesday, Oct 28, 14 @ 5:53 pm:

    Only in Illinois can the Governor take credit for creating jobs because a bill he signed was declared unconstitutional.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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