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Study: Manufacturing in Illinois gets a “C”

A new study shows the manufacturing industry is hurting in Illinois. In fact, the state gets an overall “C” grade for manufacturing, according to a study from Ball State University.

Gates Air has called Quincy home for almost 100 years, a rarity considering the fact the study says the state is losing manufacturing jobs.

“We are here because the great work ethic the employees have in the region,” said Gates Air VP Bryant Burke.

Burke says the workforce is one of the reasons why the company has stayed put for so long.

“We are a global company,” said Burke. “We are 24/7, 365 and our employees get that and they respond to that.”

According to the Ball State University study, high taxes are driving businesses out of the state.The study gave the state an “F” when it comes to its tax climate. and taxes have certainly been a topic of discussion for Gates Air in recent years.

“Some of the new tax reforms that are on the table that are coming at us are going to be much more painful than the ones in the past,” said Burke.

Illinois also received an “F” when it comes to unfunded pension costs. With Quincy being a border city, it certainly makes things tempting for businesses.

“The businesses that are here, our asset with them is their workforce,” said Marcel Wagner with the Great River Economic Development Foundation. “There are people that have worked with them for years and they’re not going to jeopardize that. If they’re going to plan an expansion or if we have a company that’s looking at us it’s very hard for us to be competitive with our competition across the river from us. It is a concern.”

Gates Air says they’ll continue to stay in the Gem City, like they’ve done for almost a century.

“Right now the resources and the employees that we need here, we find ample opportunity to recruit here,” said Burke.

GREDF offers an abatement of real estate taxes if businesses want to build a facility in the area. GREDF also offers training incentives for potential employees.

Kaylee Pfeiferling

Multimedia Journalist

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