|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
|Economic Adjustment Assistance||1||$119,203|
During FY 2012, EDA awarded 20 grants totaling $8.3 million in the State of Illinois. These investments spurred job creation in medical devices, IT startups, transportation and logistics, and high tech manufacturing. These projects leveraged the assets of the rural and urban areas of the state to create a holistic approach to economic development that is able to increase productivity, spur innovation and entrepreneurship, and increase long-term regional competitiveness and economic diversification. These investments are expected to create or retain 1,478 jobs according to grantee estimates.
Investment Spotlight: EDA Award Attracts Foreign Direct Investment
Rochelle, Illinois and surrounding counties are home to one of the Midwest’s largest intermodal terminals and with millions of containers entering and departing every year. The region is home to many of the State of Illinois’ major transportation routes including two Interstates (88 and 39), five U.S. highways, 11 State highways, 400 miles of rail serviced by two major railroads and two of Illinois’ major waterways. Despite these advantages, since 1990, the region has shown net losses of manufacturing jobs, leading to an increased numbers of households living in poverty.
With more than 80 million people in 15 states and Canada accessible in less than 24 hours, Rochelle’s transportation assets present tremendous opportunities for manufacturers. To help the region capitalize on its strategic location, EDA awarded Rochelle $2.4 million to fund improvements to the Rochelle Dual Access Railroad. The upgraded rail line will allow for more efficient connections to the nearby main lines of the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroads.
The improved short-line railroad services a manufacturing facility for Nippon Sharyo U.S.A., the U.S. subsidiary of a Japanese manufacturer of railcars. By providing a vital rail spur connection to connect to major railroad lines, EDA’s investment encouraged Nippon Sharyo to build a new, larger facility in Rochelle. Nippon Sharyo has a long history of selling passenger railcars here in the United States. With the opening of this new plant in Rochelle, however, the company will be able to expand its U.S. operations, lower production costs, comply with the “Made in America” requirements of many of its buyers, and—most important to the economy here—create 250 new jobs.