CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced plans to create more than 1,000 full-time jobs and $75 million in investment in Illinois. Amazon is beginning site selection activities and it plans to open its first facility in Illinois next year.
“Today Illinois is leading the Midwest in job creation and Amazon will strengthen that growth by delivering 1,000 new jobs to our state,” Governor Quinn said. “Illinois’ skilled workforce, world-class transportation system and educational institutions are second-to-none. Making the tough decisions is improving our economy and helping us attract new employers, but there’s more work to do. Together with great companies like Amazon growing and thriving in Illinois, we’ll build on this progress and create even more jobs.”
“With our top-notch transportation network and skilled workforce, Illinois has much to offer innovative companies seeking to expand their operations, especially those, like Amazon, seeking to better serve their customers in the most populous state in the Midwest,” Senator Durbin (D-IL) said. “It’s been my pleasure to work closely with Amazon on my Marketplace Fairness Act and I couldn’t be more pleased that the company has chosen to make this substantial investment in our state, announcing 1,000 jobs with good benefits right off the bat and an opportunity to expand in the future.”
“We thank Governor Quinn and Senator Durbin for their leadership, and we’re thrilled to create in Illinois more than 1,000 full-time jobs and $75 million in investment,” Amazon vice president, global public policy, Paul Misener said. “The state of Illinois has an excellent workforce and we’re excited to roll up our sleeves and find the right locations, break ground and start hiring.”
In addition to competitive wages, full-time Amazon employees are immediately eligible for comprehensive benefits starting on day one including healthcare, 401(k) with 50 percent match, stock, bonuses and a network of support to ensure employees succeed.
Amazon also offers innovative programs like Career Choice, where it will pre-pay up to 95 percent of tuition for courses related to in-demand fields, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon. Since the program’s launch, employees are pursuing degrees in game design and visual communications, nursing, IT programming, radiology and more.
Amazon’s announcement comes amid new federal data showing the strength of Illinois’ economic comeback. The state’s unemployment rate in September fell to 6.6 percent, the seventh straight monthly decline and the lowest in more than six years.
In the last 12 months, the state’s unemployment rate has fallen from 9.1 percent, the largest year-over-year decline in the nation.
The latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that Illinois led the Midwest in job growth last month, adding 19,300 positions. Illinois now has gained more than 300,000 private sector jobs since February 2010, when the employment market here began to rebound from the recession.