DeKalb and Rochelle may be in the running for a massive new auto manufacturing plant. Toyota and Mazda announced they are teaming up to build a one-and-a-half billion dollar factory in the U.S., but didn’t specify the site.
State Representative Tom Demmer says he knows state and local economic development officials are working on a code-named project that meets the same specifications of the Toyota/Mazda plan. Demmer says he’s not surprised DeKalb and Rochelle are contenders:
“You need a lot of land, you need access to rail lines, you need access to highways, and really importantly, too, you need access to a high quality workforce.”
Demmer says his role is to support the project through legislation and facilitating conversations:
“ I’ve been talking with both local officials and state officials about what can do to best support this effort. We’ve been working in the legislature on some plans. Things like renewing the EDGE tax credits. Things that would give more tools to our economic development professionals as they try to recruit these kind of businesses.”
There are 11 states competing for the Toyota/Mazda plant, according to the Wall Street Journal. It’s expected to employee as many as four thousand people.