"The best way to fight poverty… is a J-O-B"
Gov. Pat Quinn took office on January 29, 2009, in the midst of the Great Recession, a worldwide economic downturn that proved to be the worst recession since the Great Depression in the 1930s. Following a catastrophic financial collapse and and a nationwide housing crisis, Illinois’ unemployment rate reached 11.2% at the height of the Great Recession.
By the time Gov. Quinn left office in January 2015, Illinois had made a significant economic comeback with job creation up and unemployment down across the state. Illinois’ unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level (6% in January 2015) since before the Great Recession, and unemployment rates fell in every region of the state month after month.
After the recession ended, nearly 300,000 private sector jobs were created, and Illinois’ average wages were eighth-highest in the country, outranking every Midwestern state.
Gov. Quinn’s programs to help Illinois workers find and keep good-paying jobs started with saving Illinois auto manufacturers and their suppliers who were in dire straits at the beginning of 2009.
The job total at Chrysler’s Belvidere plant went from 200 employees to 4,500 during Gov. Quinn’s time in office. Over the same period at Ford’s plant on the South Side of Chicago, operations grew from one shift and 1,600 workers in 2009 to three shifts and 5,100 workers. Auto suppliers such as Continental Tire greatly benefitted.
View the Governor’s Office Press Release of Quinn Opening Railroad Spur to Mount Vernon's Continental Tire.
On July 13, 2009, Gov. Quinn signed Illinois Jobs Now! (Public Act 96-35), a $31 billion capital construction plan -- the largest in Illinois history. The program was designed to create thousands of jobs and invest in infrastructure projects across the state.
In six years, Illinois built and repaired 8,980 miles of roads and 1,475 bridges and invested $3 billion to build, repair, and replace schools across Illinois.
Illinois Jobs Now! also included investment in rail and public transit, grade separations, housing, water projects, port improvements, dam safety, military facilities, broadband deployment, and high speed rail from Chicago to St. Louis.
View the Governor’s Office Press Release of Quinn Opening New Ramps Connecting Tri-State Tollway to I-57 in South Suburbs.
View the Governor’s Office Press Release of Quinn Announcing $24.1 Million for Route 13 and Wolf Creek Road Interchange in Crainville.
View the Governor’s Office Press Release of Quinn Opening Long-Needed Interchange.
View the Governor’s Office Press Release of Quinn Opening Rockford's New Morgan Street Bridge.
View the Governor’s Office Press Release of Quinn Announcing $11.5 Million for Bridge Construction Project in Galesburg.
In the depths of the Great Recession in 2010, Gov. Quinn launched Put Illinois to Work, a subsidized employment program which put more than 30,000 unemployed men and women to work at $10 per hour in private and not-for-profit jobs.
View the Governor’s Office Press Release of Quinn Announcing New ‘Put Illinois to Work' Employment Program.
View the Governor’s Office Press Release of Quinn Announcing Temporary Extension of Successful Jobs Program.
Gov. Quinn supported Illinois’ growing technology sector by investing in technology hubs like 1871 and MATTER in the Merchandise Mart and the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute and the UI Labs.
Gov. Quinn recruited new businesses to locate in Illinois, including Amazon fulfillment centers and Lagunitas Brewing. In 2014, Illinois was ranked third in the country for new and expanded corporate facilities.
View the Governor’s Office Press Release of Quinn, Senator Durbin and Amazon Announcing 1,000 Full-Time Jobs in Illinois.
View the Governor’s Office Press Release of Quinn Announcing Illinois Ranks #3 in Nation for Business Development.
The intermodal facility that was built near Joliet became the largest inland port in North America
Gov. Quinn was major supporter of Illinois’ film industry, investing in the repurposing of the Ryerson Steel Factory into Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, the largest soundstage in the U. S. outside of Hollywood. From 2009 to 2014, Illinois’ film industry drove more than $1.2 billion in economic growth, including about $600 million in wages for Illinois workers.
View the Governor’s Office Press Release of Quinn Announcing Record $358 Million Year for Film Industry.
View the Governor’s Office Press Release of Quinn Welcoming New Fox TV Production to Illinois
Gov. Quinn took action and made investments in helping existing Illinois businesses grow and add jobs.
View the Governor’s Office Press Release of Quinn Visiting Chicago Chocolate Business as Illinois Comeback Continues.