UPDATE: Illinois out of the running for Toyota/Mazda plant

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Updated: October 18, 1:30 PM

CHICAGO (WIFR) -- Illinois is out of the competition for a Toyota/Mazda plant that would provide more than 4,000 jobs.

According to Crain's, the reason is due to the "lack of shovel-ready sites and the state's failure to adopt a right-to-work law."

Crain's adds that Mark Peterson, CEO of Intersect Illinois, said that while no formal announcement has been made, sources tell him Illinois is not among the three finalists for the $1.3 billion facility.


Updated: October 16, 4:30 PM

UPDATE: ROCHELLE, Ill. (WIFR) - Rochelle continues its push to bring a more than one billion dollar Toyota-Mazda plant to the city.

Rochelle Economic Director Jason Anderson says the city sent Toyota-Mazda a 45-page informational packet on why Rochelle is the perfect place for a plant. Anderson believes the city’s three railroads and their proximity to I-88 and I-39 gives Rochelle a boost.

Illinois is one of nearly a dozen states being considered for the $1.6 billion plant that could bring up to 4,000 jobs to the area. According to the Chicago Tribune, Toyota-Mazda hopes to have the plant running by 2021.


ROCHELLE, Ill. (WIFR) -- A local city could see 4,000 new jobs if they are chosen as the site for a new Mazda-Toyota plant.

"We've seen a lot of things come, and we've seen a lot of things go," reflects lifetime citizen, Michael Chunko as he thinks about his past, growing up in the city.

Chunko grew up watching the trains pass by several blocks from his house. It's that very railway system that city leaders believe makes Rochelle an attractive location for a potential Toyota-Mazda plant.

"[Plants] add jobs for the people that live here, and provide jobs for some people out of town too because not everyone who works at these places lives here, and that's a draw to the town too," added Chunko.

"We've spent, in Rochelle and the area, almost 40 million dollars to get ready for projects like this," said Rochelle Economic Development Director Jason Anderson.

Anderson said the recent addition of a water tower and well, new transmission lines, water and sewer lines, and road upgrades, makes the hub city a prime draw.

"Our plan has always been to expand it to its boundaries, and so, our thoughts were, back about a year ago, let's get a thousand acres of a new area ready and prepare the acres there, so whenever a project like this comes up, Rochelle is ready; and Rochelle is ready," says Anderson.

Anderson believes that rail access from California and to Washington State, as well as it's proximity to I-88 and I-39, and the Greater Rockford Airport could be the tipping point in bringing the plant, and 4000 jobs to Ogle County's largest city.

"We know that, when a community gets a large manufacturing facility, it's more than just the community cause people come from miles around to access it, so this is really a win for the whole area." "just hope that everything works out for the betterment of everyone in the community," says Illinois State Representative, Tom Demmer.

Rochelle City leaders say they are unsure when they will hear back about whether or not they are chosen as a location for the plant.

11 states in the U.S. are being considered for the development. Dekalb is also being considered as a potential site.