CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today joined Navistar International Corporation for the grand opening of its new Test and Development Center in Melrose Park. The international truck and diesel engine manufacturer renovated its existing Melrose Park facility into a state-of-the-art center to develop cutting-edge product solutions, creating an additional 200 construction jobs in Illinois. Today's announcement is part of the Governor's agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward.
“Illinois an excellent place to invest, build and grow a business," Governor Quinn said. "Navistar has come a long way since their expansion announcement in 2010 and this manufacturer is positioned to thrive in Illinois, contribute to our regional competitiveness and help grow our economy."
In 2010, Governor Quinn announced that Navistar would move forward with plans to expand its Illinois operations. Over several years, the expansion project created and retained 3,000 permanent jobs and 600 construction jobs. For the project, the Quinn Administration provided a $64.7 million business investment package, which included tax credits and a job-training grant. The package leveraged and made possible Navistar’s $205 million investment.
Governor Quinn also secured legislation to expand the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) tax credit, which served as a major factor in Navistar’s decision to grow in Illinois.
The Melrose Park Test and Development Center combines engine and vehicle test capabilities together under one roof; is large enough to test full-size tractors and buses; and its labs mimic every climate in North America - from the heat and humidity of Florida to the freezing temperatures of Canada, to the dry heat of Arizona and Mexico and the high altitudes of Colorado - to test trucks without leaving Melrose Park.
“Illinois is a special place for Navistar - our history, our people and our future are here,” Navistar’s President and Chief Executive Officer Troy A. Clarke said. “The Governor and the General Assembly made Navistar a priority and helped make this investment a reality. Today, we are delivering the highest quality vehicles we’ve ever built, in no small part due to the testing and validation capabilities of our Melrose Park Test and Development Center.”
The financing for the Lisle campus and Joliet facility was made possible by a partnership of the Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) and the counties of DuPage, DeKalb, Douglas, Henry, Kankakee, Lake and Winnebago, as well as the cities of Aurora, Elgin, Rockford, Naperville and Joliet. These governments each provided their federal, tax-exempt Recovery Zone Facility Bond allocation to the IFA, which then combined the resources to support the Navistar package. The IFA’s $135 million, low-cost financing package, along with Cook County’s $90 million finance package, supported the project.
Under Governor Quinn’s leadership, the state has worked relentlessly to identify companies with strong potential to bring jobs and economic growth to Illinois. The state has added 216,000 private sector jobs since January 2010, when job growth returned to Illinois following a two-year period of declines during the recession.