Politics

German manufacturer brings 40 new jobs to the Chicago area

Thursday, August 22, 2013

German manufacturer Rittal is moving its US headquarters from Ohio to Schaumburg along with 40 new jobs to the Chicago area.

According to the US Labor Department, Illinois is the second most difficult state to find a job.

But even if it's just a few dozen new jobs, the governor wants in on the celebration.

The German Rittal Company, that makes enclosures for electronic equipment, celebrated the move of its North American headquarters to Illinois on Thursday.

"The best way to help the most people is economic growth, said Governor Pat Quinn.

Fred Loh, owner of Rittal, said he loves the new location, which is not far away from O'Hare Field.

"From here, from this point, it's very easy to go to all areas of America," said Loh.

However, 40 new jobs in Schaumburg won't make a dent in Illinois' 9.2 percent unemployment rate; it's second only to Nevada, and nearly two percentage points above the national 7.4 percent unemployment rate.

"Look at every state that borders us, they're all lower in unemployment numbers," said gubernatorial candidate William Daley.

Bill Daley, Quinn's Democratic primary opponent said that despite the governor's job claims, more companies are leaving than coming to Illinois, because of its high taxes and pension debt.

"People aren't optimistic about what's happening in Illinois and why they should be, when you look at the dysfunction in Springfield," said Daley.

Our employment growth, new jobs created, our state has had a good record in that area," said Quinn. "We can do much better and will keep on doing better."

Piero Fagiolo had been unemployed before landing a job at Rittal. He remembers the difficulties of the job search in the Chicago area.

"Manufacturing jobs and a lot of mechanical design types of jobs have left the area," said Fagiolo.

"What game plan is there to give people confidence that over the next four or 10 years, there's going to be anything different," said Daley.

The governor said Illinois economic recovery is still in its early stages.

"We've got to make sure that we have the people who are now coming back and looking for work and providing that opportunity for them," said Quinn.

Quinn said he personally made the appeal to the Rittal Company's owner to move to Illinois when the governor was in Germany visiting wounded American soldiers at a US military hospital.

But, if the unemployment rate in Illinois doesn't begin to fall, major issues could arise as the primary campaign continues.

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