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Apple CEO Tim Cook recently spoke about making the Mac and other products in America. Those comments inspired a new campaign and online petition asking Apple to manufacture in Illinois.

It makes sense. Cook said a major barrier is the lack of American expertise in electronics manufacturing since most products are made overseas. Illinois houses the technology infrastructure to make it happen.

The University of Illinois has a long history of advanced computer development, including being the birthplace of the internet browser (not to mention HAL 9000). Now, the University is partnering for development of a Chicago technology research center designed to keep scientists, engineers and other tech innovators in Illinois.

Illinois has excellent transportation infrastructure and manufacturing facilities ideal for Apple, plus eight technology parks with incentives for development. They can even host a parade float for the Murphysboro Apple Festival. It's a natural fit.

State Representative La Shawn Ford pledged to work with the Small Business Empowerment and Workforce Development Committee to advance the effort.

Illinois can't look to the past for jobs. This is the future of economic development for Chicago and the region.

You can Like the facebook page here, and sign the online petition at change.org.

Originally posted to Willinois on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:02 AM PST.

Also republished by Land of Lincoln Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Decatur could use the jobs. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irate, Willinois, Odysseus

    Or almost any town in Central Illinois.

    "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

    by Spider Stumbled on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:10:32 AM PST

  •  Danville has low land costs, available buildings, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irate, Odysseus, DownstateDemocrat

    transportation infrastructure and a community college to train the workforce and only 30 minutes from the UIUC campus and an hour to Indianapolis.

    •  Danville Area Community College doesn't want Apple (0+ / 0-)

      I attend that institution, and I've talked to campus president Alice Jacobs a few times, and she is opposed to any proposal for Apple (or any other large tech company) to relocate to the Danville area, fearing that the campus's Technology Center would be "overwhelmed" with students if Apple came to Danville.

      I can't stand her...she's opposed to virtually every single big-ticket economic development proposal in the Danville area and comes up with the stupidest explanations for doing so. The only thing she's interested in expanding is the school's nursing program.

      Friend of the Wisconsin Uprising from East Central Illinois! IL-15

      by DownstateDemocrat on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 11:50:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So many people around here seem to be like that (0+ / 0-)

        in some way.  What the hell are we paying her salary for anyway.  Clearly we need to be paying more attention to who is elected to the board of trustees there.

  •  Maybe Apple will introduce a new product (0+ / 0-)

    The iCorn.

  •  I would think they have already picked the site (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irate, EdMass, nextstep

    Given that they plan to start in 2014 my guess is the site has already been selected and work has started to prepare the facility. My guess is that it will be in a right to work state in the Southwest, with low taxes.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:33:08 AM PST

  •  You'd establish in Illinois? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk

    Illinois credit rating worst in the nation after downgrade

    Never ran a business, I guess.

    Here's to your solving your State's problems as a first step in attracting business.

    "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

    by EdMass on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:06:47 AM PST

    •  Cute. (0+ / 0-)

      Plenty of businesses headquartered in Illinois seem to be doing fine regardless of what happens to public employee pensions.

      •  Yup, "Cute" (0+ / 0-)

        IL chart

        Gee, notice the Corporate Tax ranking among others?

        2013 State Business Tax Climate Index

        Apple?  Dream on.

        "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

        by EdMass on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:46:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's a different argument. (0+ / 0-)

          As you probably know, groups like the one you're linking have a specific right-wing agenda in how they define "business friendly." As much as I dislike it, the actual effective tax rate for most Illinois businesses is much lower once enterprise zones and other incentives are accounted for. That chart is irrelevant to Apple.

          Incentives for tech development, excellent transportation infrastructure for manufacturing, a well educated workforce, world-leading technology research institutions, and high quality of life in a world class city like Chicago are more relevant to a company like Apple.

          •  Oops... (0+ / 0-)
            high quality of life in a world class city like Chicago
            The Nation’s Most Segregated City
            So, why hasn’t Chicago replicated New York’s success? I believe the answer lies in economic segregation. Chicago is the most racially segregated big city in America, and among the most economically segregated. Harvard sociologist Robert Sampson has written extensively about cumulative disadvantage, which is the idea that all sorts of health and economic problems tend to cluster in places that are segregated by race. Structural features of those places — poverty, density, isolation — put them at great risk of higher rates of crime and violence. Reducing those risks leads to safer cities.

            Crime policy has long been primarily about security and control of these segregated places. But the United States has never been able to arrest its way out of its crime problem. A much better strategy is to unleash market forces through tax credits enticing businesses to move into non-traditional business districts, taxing blighted properties at draconian rates, and changing zoning laws to promote gentrification (but encourage poorer residents to stay). In short, our policy should be to actively juxtapose prosperity with poverty to vaccinate the crime-infected places and stop the epidemic. In the short-term, this strategy will cost a lot in dollars and political capital, but in the long-term, it is the most promising means of reducing violence and de-segregating neighborhoods.

            But that's a "different argument".

            Statistics are just statistics and are wingless when they enter the biz dev sections of corporations for evaluation of potential investment and expansion.  Your position that Illinois can, from a P.R. perspective, compartmentalize its way out of addressing its overall issues and don't affect how any business evaluates presence or investment in the State denies reality of how business functions.

            I wish you well in moving toward resolution.  Heck, even CA managed to pass a balanced budget.

            "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

            by EdMass on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 11:20:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Interesting qoute (0+ / 0-)

              "A much better strategy is to unleash market forces through tax credits enticing businesses to move into non-traditional business districts, taxing blighted properties at draconian rates, and changing zoning laws to promote gentrification (but encourage poorer residents to stay)"

              This is being promoted by a State Representative from a majority black district on Chicago's west side. Perhaps that quote is exactly what he has in mind by enticing Apple to manufacture products in Chicago.

  •  Um ... (0+ / 0-)

    Apple is going to site based on labor costs first, knowledge of manufacturing electronics second, and all of the scientific and hi-tech advantages Illinois might claim are entirely irrelevant to assembling complex electronic devices.

    This is work that has largely been done in China at contract manufacturers like Foxconn with what amounts to slave labor with no technological skills that weren't acquired on the job. If moved to the US, it will be highly automated, minimal employment at the lowest achievable wages.

    If you want to turn Schaumberg into Shenzen, I really don't mind, but I don't expect you'll ultimately think it was much of an improvement for what it's going to cost IL taxpayers in giveaways to Apple.

    Modern revolutions have succeeded because of solidarity, not force.

    by badger on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 11:33:39 AM PST

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