* Greg Hinz…
Illinois is out of the running for a prized 4,000-job assembly plant that Japanese auto makers Toyota and Mazda are planning to open in the United States.
The apparent reasons: lack of shovel-ready sites and the state’s failure to adopt a right-to-work law.
Mark Peterson, president and CEO of Intersect Illinois, the state’s privately run economic development corporation, said in an interview and email that while no formal announcement has been made, his sources tell him Illinois is not among the three or four finalists for the $1.3 billion facility.
“While we showed very well, particularly in the areas of workforce, and our proposal was very well received, in the end the site readiness of some other locations took us out of the consideration set going forward,” Peterson said. […]
“Recently, we have seen very public searches taking place for HQ and manufacturing facilities,” Peterson said. “The challenges with these is that although they are public in their media exposure, they are still very protected and confidential when communicating exactly what factors weigh in on final decisions. That said, many national site consultants charged with making recommendations for corporate relocations and expansions will not even consider a state that is not a right-to-work state. In this case, the three states I am told are still in the running are all right-to-work states.”
*** UPDATE 1 *** Greg Baise, president & CEO, IMA…
“When will Illinois lawmakers wake up and realize that their actions have real life consequences? For years, the IMA has pointed out that the state continues bleeding manufacturing jobs and losing opportunities for new plant expansions because of the high cost of doing business in Illinois while other states are gaining tens of thousands of jobs. The sad fact is that the General Assembly allowed the primary incentive program (EDGE) to expire during the time that the state’s bid was submitted. Illinois has many advantages including location, workforce, colleges and universities, infrastructure, and clean water but self-inflicted wounds are damaging our state’s economy.”
*** UPDATE 2 *** Illinois Working Together…
Today, Intersect Illinois announced that Illinois is no longer in the running for the Toyota/Mazda plant expected to generate as many as 4,000 jobs. Illinois lost out despite the Rauner Administration taking the lead in recruiting the companies and Gov. Bruce Rauner himself traveling to Asia last month to pitch top executives. Illinois has lost more than 12,000 manufacturing jobs since Gov. Rauner took office.
“Today’s announcement is yet another example of the economic damage Gov. Bruce Rauner has inflicted upon Illinois,” said Illinois Working Together Campaign Director Jake Lewis. “Gov. Rauner has created widespread economic uncertainty that has caused long-lasting damage to Illinois’ business climate. While Gov. Rauner trashes’ Illinois economy, job growth has sputtered and our bill backlog has soared.
“Instead of blaming workers for his failure to recruit new businesses to the state, Gov. Rauner should invest in Illinois communities and work collaboratively to find new ways to bring new jobs to Illinois.”
*** UPDATE 3 *** DGA…
Today, Crain’s Chicago reported that Illinois will not be a contender for a new Toyota factory and, rather than take any responsibility, Governor Bruce Rauner’s team quickly pivoted to bashing the state. While running for governor, Rauner touted himself as a natural salesman due to his business background. Instead, Rich Miller wrote, Illinois voters got “two and a half solid years of Rauner running down his own state.”
Rauner’s Asia trip was supposed to be the return of Rauner the Recruiter with a new Toyota factory as the crown jewel. But after failing to land the big fish, Rauner’s team quickly returned to their normal messaging, blaming Illinois. The CEO of Intersect Illinois blamed labor laws for Rauner’s failure and even claimed that Illinois was never going to get the plant anyway. He did not mention Rauner’s two-year budget impasse which drove up debt, devastated higher education, and slowed the state’s economy.
At least Intersect Illinois got a good meal out of it.
“Over and over again Illinois voters hear how Bruce Rauner’s failures are not his fault,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Governor Rauner just refuses to accept any responsibility. Now, his team is bashing the state for their own failure in recruiting companies, something Rauner promised voters he would succeed at. Rauner can’t blame away the fact that Illinois’ economy is lagging behind the state’s neighbors and the nation, and his failed leadership is at fault.”
*** UPDATE 4 *** Press release…
Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) responded today to assertions that Illinois’ failure to adopt a right-to-work law factored into a manufacturer’s apparent decision not to site a factory here:
“When you have a governor who spends a significant portion of his time publicly bashing the state he is supposed to lead, it should come as no surprise that manufacturers would look elsewhere for a more stable home for their factories.
“Contrary to what Gov. Rauner and his administration would have people believe, labor unions are not to blame for all of Illinois’ problems. Two years of a devastating budget stalemate under the governor’s watch did nothing to improve the state’s economic outlook or its reputation in the corporate world.
“Turning Illinois into a right-to-work state and lowering wages for our workers does not mean the state suddenly would become an attractive location for manufacturers. Many more factors are considered when companies make these decisions.
“Illinois will become a more attractive site for companies when its state budget is in order; when it can show a record of investing in universities, colleges and public schools; and when its governor stops bad-mouthing the state and its people.”
* Can manufacturing make a comeback in Springfield?