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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 20, 1999

Governor Announces New MCI Worldcom Call Center In Rockford

ROCKFORD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that MCI WorldCom will locate a brand new, state-of-the-art Mass Markets sales facility in Rockford. The project is expected to create 500 full-time and 400 part-time jobs.

"Illinois has traditionally been the nation's manufacturing and distribution center. I'm pleased that our state has also become the nation's telecommunications hub," Ryan said. "The decision by MCI WorldCom officials to locate their newest Mass Markets Call Center here shows that Illinois is a prime location for companies looking for skilled workers who can handle the jobs of the 21st Century."

MCI WorldCom is investing $20 million to construct an 85,500 square foot call center on the corner of Springbrook Road and MacFarland Road in Rockford.

Lieutenant Governor Corrine Wood was in Rockford to deliver the good news.

"This is a great day for the people of Rockford," Wood said. "This project will not only provide new opportunities for hundreds of families in the Rockford area, but it will also spur future economic development throughout the entire region."

"MCI WorldCom is pleased to be bringing new jobs and new opportunities to Rockford," said Wayne Huyard, President of MCI WorldCom's Mass Markets Division. "We look forward to doing business with the state for many years to come." The Department of Commerce and Community Affairs will provide up to $500,000 in job training assistance to MCI WorldCom over the next two fiscal years.

In addition to job training assistance, the State is also providing MCI WorldCom with infrastructure assistance, a Large Business Development Program grant, Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) tax credits and a High Impact Business Designation.

The EDGE tax credits allow eligible businesses creating new jobs to claim a state income tax credit equal to a portion of the incremental income tax generated from new jobs created in Illinois. The High Impact Business Program will provide the company with investment tax credits and tax exemptions on the purchase of building materials.

"We're pleased we were able to assist MCI WorldCom with their job training needs. By improving the skills of workers, we're not only helping the company, we're also helping the employees and the community," DCCA Director Pam McDonough said.

The City of Rockford also is providing the company with incentives.

"I am excited to welcome this Fortune 100 company to Rockford," Mayor Charles Box said. "They are a world class organization making a significant investment in our community that will provide solid employment to our citizens. The direct and secondary benefits of their $15 million project will long impact the regional economy in terms of employment, indirect sales and taxes."

State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) credited the cooperation between the state, city and private sector in helping bring the project to Rockford. "I also have to give credit to Governor Ryan for having the foresight to increase funding for the Industrial Training Program. Without that increase, Illinois would not have had the resources to make this project a reality."

The Mass Market sales center is set to open in Rockford in July 2000.


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