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September 7, 2000

Ryan, Daley Announce New Ford Project, 1000 New Jobs

CHICAGO -- Governor George H. Ryan and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley joined the Ford Motor Company today to announce plans for an automotive supplier manufacturing campus on the city's Southeast Side that is expected to have an economic impact of $1.3 billion over the next ten years and create 1,000 new jobs.

The announcement caps a nearly year long competition among several states to win the Ford project, the first supplier manufacturing campus in North America. Ryan and Daley personally made a joint sales pitch last October to Ford President and CEO Jacques Nasser at Ford's Detroit headquarters. The Chicago Manufacturing Campus will be located in the South Chicago community at 126th and Torrence Avenue, near Ford's existing Torrence Avenue Assembly Plant.

"Today, we are creating 1,000 new, high quality, good-paying jobs," Ryan said. "Today, we are announcing an investment in the future of the South Side of Chicago and an investment in the people of Illinois."

Ryan's Illinois FIRST program will provide more than $46 million for infrastructure improvements that will serve the community and the campus including work on Torrence Avenue, between 130th Street and 126th Place, and work on 126th Place between Torrence and Avenue O.

The new campus will be built on an urban brownfield that will be restored with $4.8 million in Illinois FIRST funds

Over the next five years, the state is also committing more than $6 million for training at Ford's new Chicago Heights Training Facility.

The governor noted that Illinois competed fiercely to win the campus project, and that he and Daley demonstrated the seriousness of their proposal by flying to Detroit together last October to meet with Nasser and other top Ford executives.

"We were unified, as we have been on so many economic development projects," Ryan said. "We wanted Ford to know we were a team and that we would go the distance to win their investment. We had a goal and we had a good playbook -- which included the Illinois FIRST program."

This announcement is the latest by Ryan and Daley to bring jobs and economic development to the south side. Last year, they announced Solo Cup's development of a manufacturing facility on the long vacant USX site -- a project that will create more than 500 jobs. The state and city also created a long-term plan for sustainable growth in the Lake Calumet area that includes restoring more than 1,500 acres of wetlands, marshes and lakes and redeveloping another 1,500 acres of land for industrial use.


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