* There he goes again…
Rauner, a Winnetka Republican, said company officials considered bringing a $1.6 billion joint venture between Toyota and Mazda that will employ 4,000 workers in Huntsville, Ala., to Central Illinois — but they didn’t want to deal with closed-shop rules that make employees at certain businesses join a union.
“We should be where the auto plants are coming. We’ve got the workforce and the people. You can’t get a new auto plant built in a closed-shop state,” he told the Pantagraph’s Editorial Board.
“I went to Japan to bring the Toyota-Mazda venture here to McLean County. … They said they love Illinois, they love Central Illinois, they love the workforce here.They were coming,” he continued.
“But the board members said, ‘This board of directors will not build a new plant in a closed-shop state. Can you make it so McLean County is not?’ I said, ‘I proposed it, but that’s not an option right now.’ So they said, ‘Well then, you know what, we’re going to another state,’” he said.
Alabama is a right-to-work state.
Um, “closed shops” were outlawed in this country in 1947.
* From October of 2017…
Mark Denzler, vice president and chief operating officer of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, confirmed Wednesday that Illinois is no longer in the running.
“We are certainly very disappointed that Toyota is not coming to Illinois, but we also understand the challenges that plague Illinois,” he said. “We are not a business-friendly state.”
Stability and predictability are lacking, Denzler said. He pointed to the $15 billion backlog of bills the state built up during its budget crisis, unfunded pensions and a recent income tax increase as examples. Illinois has some redeeming qualities, he said, but not enough.
Hmm. “Stability and predictability are lacking.”
* Also, remember when Ford announced in late 2015 that it would be investing $1.1 billion into its Chicago-area factories? And the company made this announcement in April…
Joe Hinrichs, president of global operations for Ford, said the automaker will retool the Chicago assembly plant after Taurus production winds down. There about about 4,000 workers at the Chicago assembly plant, and Ford expects demand for the new SUV lines to support the same size workforce going forward.
“We’re investing heavily in the plant, and we’re going to keep it full and everybody is going to keep their employment,” Hinrichs said Thursday.
*** UPDATE 1 *** I don’t think McLean County was on the list of sites that the state was backing for that Toyota plant. Rochelle and DeKalb were the two towns in the running.
*** UPDATE 2 *** From that article about Rochelle and DeKalb is this nugget…
Amid battles between Rauner and Democratic leaders, the state’s largest jobs incentives program —Economic Development for a Growing Economy, or EDGE, tax credits — expired earlier this year with no new legislation passed to replace it.
“The biggest challenge Illinois will face is competitiveness of incentives,” [site selection expert Bradley Migdal of Cushman & Wakefield] said. “If Illinois is competing with states like Alabama or Mississippi, at the end of the day the key tool is going to be incentives.
“To do something now would require special legislation, because right now there is no legislation in place for providing EDGE incentives.”