Chicago Mayor Daley Hails Ford's Retooled Assembly Plant, Supplier Campus
1,400 New Jobs Created Producing Parts for Nearby Factory
August 30, 2004
Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley joined Ford Motor Co. officials on August 10 at the unveiling of Ford's renovated Chicago Assembly Plant at 130th Street and Torrence Avenue.
The Mayor also celebrated the opening of Ford's new Chicago Manufacturing Campus, a half-mile away, which is creating more than 1,400 new jobs with 12 companies that produce parts for Ford vehicles.
"Chicago is a city that is constantly renewing itself," Daley said. "All across the city, old buildings are being adapted to modern uses and abandoned land is being returned to productivity."
"Nowhere is this more apparent than here on the Southeast Side, where Ford Motor Company has taken an 80-year-old plant and fitted it with the latest technology to build the cars of the 21st century."
"And, in partnership with the city and state, the company has taken a former brownfield site and turned it into a manufacturing campus to supply parts for the assembly plant."
"The result is good for Ford, good for the city of Chicago, and most of all, good for the working men and women of our city."
The Chicago Assembly Plant has 2,600 employees, in addition to the 1,400 who will work at the manufacturing campus when it reaches full employment.
The Mayor's Office of Workforce Development so far has recruited and trained close to 650 Chicagoans to work at the manufacturing campus, and will continue to work with the suppliers to maximize the hiring of Chicago residents.
The city provided $17 million dollars in tax increment financing (TIF) for the supplier campus.
In addition, the City and State have completed $25 million of the $100 million of roadway improvements scheduled for the area. Construction will begin early next spring on the largest component of the project: improving the intersection of 130th and Torrence.
Ford has contributed $6 million toward the Ford Calumet Environmental Center, scheduled to open in 2006, which will educate the public on the industrial, cultural, and ecological heritage of the Calumet region.
"Some people believe industrial development and environmental protection are opposing values but we-re proving you can do both," Daley said.
The Mayor said the Ford project shows that "manufacturing is alive and well in this country, and especially in Chicago."
More than 600,000 people in the Chicago area are employed in the manufacturing sector, making the Chicago area the nation's number-one manufacturing center, in terms of both employment and gross regional product.