Rauner hails Amazon as big economic boost for state
Amazon continued its job growth in Illinois last fall with the opening of a fulfillment center in Romeoville that brought 1,000 jobs to the area.
The Romeoville center is the fourth Amazon such center to open in Illinois, but the internet giant is committed to opening five more facilities, creating a total of 8,000 jobs by the end of 2018, according to a press release. Amazon now has a fulfillment center in Romeoville, two in Edwardsville and two in Joliet.
Another is under construction in Monee, and Amazon plans to add two more in Aurora and one in Waukegan.
Gov. Bruce Rauner touted Illinois' ability to attract Amazon during a tour of the Romeoville facility in June.
“We couldn't be more excited to have Amazon invest and expand in Illinois," Rauner said in the press release. "Illinois should be a job creation destination, and this new fulfillment center represents what can happen when we make an effort to attract high-quality employers, encourage investment and create jobs."
Rauner said that Amazon’s commitment is providing a brighter economic future for Illinois.
“Amazon is one of the greatest companies in the world,” Rauner said in a video release. “They are transforming the world’s economy, and we are honored to have them headquartered here in America, and we are very blessed and very honored to have them making a major commitment to the people of Illinois.”
Rauner called Illinois “the transportation hub of America" and noted that Amazon built the Romeoville center without tax incentives.
“Only a few of the facilities of the nine did ask for an incentive to make the math work,” Rauner said.
Rauner added that his administration wants to work toward changing the regulations and property tax system to attract more businesses like Amazon. He said his administration and Intersect Illinois, the state's new economic development corporation, worked closely with Amazon on investing in Illinois.
"Amazon continues to drive significant investment in Illinois and continues to create good paying jobs," Mark Peterson, president & CEO of Intersect Illinois, said in a press release. "Intersect Illinois' mission, in partnership with the state is to continue to bring great companies like Amazon to Illinois to grow our economy and open up more opportunity for Illinoisans in every corner of the state. This is just the beginning of what Illinois is capable of if we put our efforts together and focus on cultivating a booming economy."
Sean McCarthy, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce, said Illinois should be proud of its effort.
“The scale of Amazon's investment in Illinois is remarkable, and it is important to note that projects like this would not have been possible without the leadership and hard work of our local government, business and community leaders," he said, according to a press release. "Their dedication helped Amazon identify the potential within Illinois and made them feel at home."
Editor's note: The original version of this story incorrectly identified where Amazon plans to open fulfillment centers in Illinois. This has been corrected.