Gov. Bruce Rauner today continued his Built in Illinois tour with a visit to Nucor Steel, an award-winning national leader in steel production. Nucor’s leaders are deciding between Illinois or Ohio for an expansion of existing merchant bar operations.
The governor was joined by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, and state Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst, R-Kankakee. The tour highlights the importance of the manufacturing industry to the Illinois economy as part of National Manufacturing Month.
“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.”
Nucor is the largest and most diversified producer of steel products in the country. Additionally, it is the largest recycler of any material in North America. Nucor employs more than 1,000 Illinoisans.
“We want to see companies like Nucor Steel thrive in Illinois,” Rauner said. “That’s why my administration is trying so hard to get government out of the way of business growth.
“We need to create a climate that helps Illinois companies compete successfully so they can start up and grow and hire people,” he continued. “Cutting red tape and burdensome regulation is one way government can help fuel the engine of prosperity.”
Manufacturing is the second largest industry in Illinois. Ninety-two percent of the state’s exports are manufactured products. Nearly 600,000 Illinoisans are employed by over 12,000 firms whose products account for 13 percent of the state’s gross domestic product.
“Nucor has always been a great corporate citizen in Kankakee. 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.”
“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.”
Recognizing the importance of the manufacturing sector to the state’s economy, Rauner proclaimed October Built in IllinoisMonth.