Rauner turns steely-eyed gaze to Bourbonnais
The Nucor Steel operation in Bourbonnais learned a little about how important Illinois deems it with a recent visit by Gov. Bruce Rauner and other key legislators, according to a press release.
As part of his tour celebrating October as "Built in Illinois" month, Rauner joined House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and state Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) at Nucor, which is deciding between Illinois and Ohio for an expansion.
“Nucor’s steel production is an important part of our state’s manufacturing base, and we very much want them to grow here,” Rauner said. “We have a lot to offer, including the best workforce in the country and a distribution network that is second to none. We want to see companies like Nucor Steel thrive in Illinois. That’s why my administration is trying so hard to get government out of the way of business growth.”
Rauner's tour is meant to highlight the critical importance and positive effects of the manufacturing industry to Illinois' economy.
Nucor Steel employs more than 1,000 workers, is the largest recycler of any material in North America, and is also the largest manufacturer and producer of steel products in the United States. Currently, the leaders of Nucor Steel are deciding whether to expand existing merchant bar operations in Illinois or Ohio.
“We need to create a climate that helps Illinois companies compete successfully so they can start up and grow and hire people,” Rauner said. “Cutting red tape and burdensome regulation is one way government can help fuel the engine of prosperity.
“We are pro-growth. We are pro you guys.”
With 92 percent of the state’s exports being manufactured products, manufacturing is the second-largest industry in Illinois, behind the service industry. Illinois has more than 12,000 manufacturing firms that employ nearly 600,000 people. Their products account for 13 percent of the state’s gross domestic product.
“Your success is Illinois’ success, and I’m all for you," Rauner said. "Get the red tape off, bring down your tax burden and make sure that we got fair trade and we are growing steel and steel manufacturing in America is the number one priority.”
Durkin called Nucor "a great corporate citizen."
"An expansion at their facility will create jobs and grow our local economy, and that is why it is vital we all work to make this happen,” Durkin said. “We are committed to our employers and job creators in Illinois and will fight to keep them in state – and that is what we will do for Nucor.”
Parkhurst said Nucor's presence and growth is critical.
“The American steel industry is fundamental to this country’s manufacturing base, strategic infrastructure and national security,” Parkhurst said. “Nucor Steel, our local steel company, plays a vital role in our community by developing a sustainable society, generating employment, adding tax revenues and creating industry innovations.”