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IN THE NEWS -
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State Construction Projects in Jeopardy, Stalled
SPRINGFIELD, IL (SWI-News.com), May 29, 2016 - Governor Bruce Rauner, Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Secretary Randy Blankenhorn and Capital Development Board (CDB) Executive Director Jodi Golden recently discussed the importance of passing the GOP Leaders' fully-funded stopgap budget for public infrastructure projects.

"Improving our state's infrastructure is an investment in our future," Governor Rauner said. "These projects create jobs and help fuel the state's economy, and in the case of road construction and maintaining State's facilities, parks and historical sites, they're important to public safety."

HB 6585/SB 3435 will ensure summer road construction projects are able to continue seamlessly and without interruption. The bill will appropriate funding for the state's full road construction program including bridge repair and local government road allocations. These programs are funded predominantly out of motor fuel tax funds and vehicle registration fees.

"Without passage of the stopgap funding bill proposed by the governor and Republican leaders in the legislature, we are on the brink of shutting down construction projects throughout the state," said IDOT Secretary Blankenhorn. "Every corner of Illinois will be impacted, with much-needed improvements delayed indefinitely, tens of thousands of workers sent home and millions of unnecessary costs added. What the governor is proposing is a reasonable solution that will allow our programs to continue seamlessly."

In addition, HB 6585/SB 3435 will appropriate non-GRF line items to restart mothballed capital projects that were not included in the Democrat's FY16 capital appropriations bill. For example, public university and community college projects, mental health facilities and veteran homes projects would restart and continue.

"More than 200 capital projects were impacted last June because the majority party failed to fund them in their capital reappropriations bill," CDB Executive Director Golden said. "Each day that goes by, this continues to impact more than 500 contractors, designers, and subcontractors; thousands of construction workers and suppliers; thousands of schoolchildren and all the people that live, work and visit the State's facilities, parks and historical sites. It is imperative for the General Assembly to pass HB 6585/SB 3435 to ensure important building construction projects are allowed to restart and continue."


Amazon to Open Two Fulfillment Centers in Edwardsville, Illinois
EDWARDSVILLE, IL (SWI-News.com), May 29, 2016 - Amazon.com has announced plans to open two fulfillment centers in Edwardsville, Illinois, and create more than 1,000 full-time jobs between the facilities when they open.

The company also recently announced plans for a new fulfillment center in Joliet, Illinois, and the creation of 2,000 full-time jobs. Amazon has an existing fulfillment center in Joliet where it currently employs 1,500 full-time employees.

"Illinois has been a great place to do business for Amazon and we look forward to adding two additional fulfillment centers and creating another 1,000 full-time jobs with benefits on day one in the state," said Akash Chauhan, Amazon's vice president of North American operations. "The elected officials throughout the city and state have been very supportive of Amazon and we thank them for helping make this possible. We're excited to soon call Edwardsville home and become an active member of this vibrant community."

"Amazon's newest investment in Illinois is a commitment to the future of our state," Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner said. "Amazon brings more than a thousand great paying jobs to Madison County and strengthens Illinois' position as a national hub for distribution and logistics. We are excited Amazon has again chosen our state and continues to be a growing partner in economic development in the Land of Lincoln. This growth represents the type of results possible when state economic development is focused on a long-term strategy, as the newly formed ILBEDC is doing with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity."

Both fulfillment centers will span more than 700,000 square-feet each where employees will pick, pack and ship items for customers. One of the buildings will specialize in handling larger items like big-screen televisions, sports equipment or kayaks and the other building will handle smaller items such as books, toys and electronics.

Full-time employees at Amazon receive competitive hourly wages and a comprehensive benefits package, including healthcare, 401(k) and company stock awards starting on day one, as well as generous maternity and parental leave benefits.

Amazon also offers employees innovative programs like Career Choice, where it will pre-pay 95 percent of tuition for courses related to in-demand fields, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon. Since the program's launch, employees are pursuing degrees in game design and visual communications, nursing, IT programming and radiology, to name a few.

In a release, Mayor Hal Patton of Edwardsville stated, "We would like to thank Amazon for selecting Edwardsville as the location for their newest fulfillment centers. The construction of these two enormous warehouse buildings in the Gateway and Lakeview Commerce Centers will employ hundreds of construction professionals and bring over 1,000 full-time jobs to our region. The professional staffs from the City of Edwardsville, Madison County and the State of Illinois worked seamlessly with our local developers to deliver a much needed employment opportunity for our talented workforce. We are excited to show Amazon the quality of life that makes Edwardsville a great place to live, work and play."

Amazon is now hiring for management positions at the Edwardsville fulfillment centers. Additional details can be found at www.amazondelivers.jobs. To learn more about working at an Amazon fulfillment center, visit www.workatamazonfulfillment.com.


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Archived Southwest Illinois News:
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