CHICAGO - Governor Bruce Rauner leaves today on a jobs mission to Europe that will take him to major cities in Germany and Poland to meet with leaders in business, government, higher education, and skilled worker training.
While on the trip, the Governor expects to receive updates on pending expansions and announce new projects that will add significant investment and jobs to the Illinois economy. There are 212 German companies operating in Illinois, employing more than 36,700 Illinoisans. In 2017, German entities purchased more than $3.37 billion of Illinois goods and services, a 67.7% increase since 2009.
“Germany is an extremely important investor in Illinois,” Rauner said as he embarked on the trip. “It is Illinois’ third largest foreign direct investor by employment. Machinery and equipment, computer and electronic products, chemicals and fabricated metals represent billions of dollars in business and thousands of jobs for Illinoisans. The goal of the mission is to build on our relationships so we can attract more jobs and foreign direct investment to our state.”
The Governor is traveling with a delegation of Illinois business and community leaders as well as economic and university development executives. The trip is being organized and largely financed by Intersect Illinois, the private economic development organization formed in 2015 at the urging of Rauner to more effectively market Illinois to companies here and abroad. Rauner is paying his own way.
“Intersect Illinois is excited to partner with Governor Rauner on his first mission trip to Europe as we continue to execute our foreign direct investment strategy,” said the business development organization’s President and CEO Mark Peterson. “Much as we did during our September trip to Asia, our mission to Europe will focus on bringing new jobs and new investments to Illinois through expansion of existing companies already here in the state as well as recruitment of new companies considering their first investment in Illinois.”
“We are honored to join Governor Rauner on this trade mission to highlight our state’s manufacturers and their operations abroad. Illinois’ manufacturing industry is the backbone of our economy and the revitalization of our state’s economy is rooted in growing more middle-class jobs in our state,” said Greg Baise, President/CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association.
“Germany and Illinois are tightly linked, both culturally and economically,” said Mark Tomkins, President & CEO of the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest in Chicago, who is traveling with the delegation. “Global investment activities of German companies continue to grow, and the U.S. remains a top location for those investments. Illinois has consistently moved up the rankings of the top states for jobs created by German companies, and now sits at #2, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Governor’s jobs mission to Germany promotes the many benefits Illinois has to offer to German companies ready to invest and expand here.”
Near the end of the mission, the Governor will participate in an event announcing that the largest industrial technology trade fair brand will come to Chicago in September of this year, a major boost for the Illinois convention industry and manufacturing technology.
The HANNOVER MESSE trade show, staged annually in Hannover, Germany, is the world’s leading showcase for digitization of production and energy, areas of synergy for many Illinois companies.
In addition to Hannover, the delegation’s stops in Germany include Frankfurt, Essen and Hamburg. The latter includes Germany’s largest seaport.
The first leg of the trip will include visits to historic Polish sites with U.S. Ambassador to Poland Paul Jones and Rabbi Yehiel Poupko.
The delegation will visit Warsaw and Krakow in Poland. Krakow is the city from which most Polish Illinoisans emigrated.
Illinois National Guard leaders will accompany the Governor to Poland for a joint exercise in observance of a 25-year training partnership with the Polish Armed Forces.