HomeBudget & Tax NewsCaterpillar's Planned Move Adds to Lost Manufacturing Jobs in Illinois

Caterpillar’s Planned Move Adds to Lost Manufacturing Jobs in Illinois

Lost manufacturing jobs in Illinois have topped 1,000 this year, and now Caterpillar is moving its corporate headquarters to Texas.

(The Center Square) – Add Illinois-based heavy machinery manufacturer Caterpillar to the list of employers that are sending their corporate headquarters out of state.

Caterpillar will soon have its headquarters in Texas rather than the Land of Lincoln. It’s the second major employer moving out of the state in a month. Boeing announced in May it was relocating its headquarters from Chicago to Arlington, Virginia.

Tuesday, Caterpillar’s CEO Jim Umpleby said the planned move by the end of the year from Deerfield to Texas is “the best strategic interest of the company.”

Caterpillar’s move will impact about 230 jobs.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker told Bloomberg News the planned move is “disappointing” but the state will “continue to support the 17,400 Illinoisans who work for the company.”

Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, said Caterpillar’s announcement is more than disappointing. It’s because of bad policies he said statehouse Democrats refuse to address.

“I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times of what these manufacturers are paying and there’s really little for them to do,” Durkin told The Center Square. “They’re getting no relief from local governments nor from the state. So, I can’t say it’s one thing, it’s many things. But when it comes back to it, it’s the cost of doing business in Illinois.”

Illinois recently ranked 48th in the nation in a survey of CEO’s and business owners conducted by Chief Executive Magazine ranking the best states in which to do business..

“Caterpillar is and will remain a vital and important economic and philanthropic leader in Illinois,” Illinois Manufactures’ Association President and CEO Mark Denzler said. “The decision to move its company headquarters out of state is a loss to Illinois, which has proudly served as home to the iconic construction equipment manufacturer for nearly a century. While 240 employees based at the company’s headquarters in Deerfield will move out of state, the company will continue to be a huge part of our state’s manufacturing sector, retaining 17,400 jobs in Illinois, and adding more every day. We remain committed to partnering with our government leaders to ensure we keep those manufacturing jobs and put in place policies to attract and grow additional employment opportunities for communities across our state.”

Durkin said it’s not just Caterpillar and Boeing.

“Boeing, Caterpillar, Mars, Wrigley, how does that reflect upon Illinois’ business climate,” Durkin said. “It’s not good.”

Pritzker was in Bloomington Monday joining an announcement from chocolate manufacturer Ferrero for a $214 million expansion project to create 200 jobs.

“This expansion is a testament to Illinois’ quality workforce and reputation on the global stage,” Pritzker said in a statement Monday.

But, since the start of the year, around ten manufacturers have reported to the state through the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act that they are laying off more than 1,000 employees combined.

More than 700 of those layoffs were reported in May, coming from Home Products International-North America, Inc. (146), MDSM Chemung, LLC (247), OPW Fuel Management Systems, Inc. (34), and Preferred Meals Systems, Inc. (307). Some of the businesses didn’t provide a reason, while others said relocation or financial events were the cause.

Durkin said the governor and majority Democrats at the statehouse are not listening to job creators.

“If the governor listened and actually worked with the business community as opposed to working against them, we might not have these problems, we might not have these departures,” Durkin said.

Originally published by The Center Square. Republished with permission.

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Greg Bishop
Greg Bishop
Greg Bishop is associate editor of The Center Square.

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