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February 27, 2002

Illinois Named Top State for Economic Development in 2001

CHICAGO -- Governor George H. Ryan today received the 2001 Site Selection Governor’s Cup, which the 47-year-old Atlanta-based magazine awards annually to the top state in America for business development. Site Selection’s yearly analyses are regarded by corporate real estate analysts as “the industry scoreboard.”

“It is an honor for Illinois to be named by Site Selection magazine as the top state in America for business development in 2001,” Governor Ryan said. “Site Selection’s 2001 state rankings clearly show that Illinois’ efforts to attract new businesses and jobs have succeeded. I am proud of the ongoing partnership between the public and private sector in improving our business climate and believe that the success we have achieved is the result of that teamwork.”

Illinois scored the most number of points in a 10-part process designed to gauge business expansion success during the previous calendar year. Previous Governor’s Cup contests ranked states based solely on the number of new and expanded facilities announced and recorded in a database maintained by Norcross, Georgia-based Conway Data, which publishes Site Selection. This year, nine additional criteria have been added to the Governor’s Cup formula, resulting in 10 criteria, each of which counts 10 percent toward the final score.

“The result is a mechanism that levels the playing field between heavily populated, industrial states and states with fewer population centers but a healthy run of new or expanded facility projects to their credit,” said Mark Arend, editor of Site Selection.

Arend presented Ryan with the Governor's Cup during a press conference Wednesday morning at The Boeing Company's world headquarters in Chicago. Boeing relocated from Seattle to Chicago last year after a high-profile site selection process.

"Moving the Boeing World Headquarters to Chicago was an integral part of our business strategy to transform Boeing into a broad-based, global enterprise," said Phil Condit, Chairman and CEO. "It was important that the move be as seamless as possible, both for our company and for our employees, and the partnership between the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago was key in making the move so quick and so successful."

Chicago was ranked as the top metro in 2001 for new and expanded facilities by Site Selection, while Peru, Danville and Effingham were listed among the top 20 small town for corporate facilities.

“Despite an economic downturn last year, we saw plant expansions and new businesses continue to locate in Illinois. The success we had in creating new jobs in 2001 is the result of aggressive economic development initiatives passed during Governor Ryan’s administration. Programs such as Illinois FIRST and EDGE (Economic Development through a Growing Economy) have allowed our state to compete and win new business development projects,” added DCCA Director Pam McDonough.

Among the new projects that located and/or expanded in Illinois during 2001 were Boeing, ABN AMRO, ATA, Krispy Kreme, Guiness UDV, Abbott, Hilton Reservations, and Land O’Frost.


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