Will County Executive Larry Walsh has been invited by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Bruce Rauner to join a committee to locate the second headquarters of Amazon to northeastern Illinois. The company currently has a headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Walsh will join a unique group of more than 600 leaders from the public, private and non-profit sectors in efforts to attract the retail shipping giant to Illinois and bring 50,000 jobs to the region.
“Will County is home to five Amazon fulfillment centers so the company is familiar with the transportation assets and skilled work force in our region,” Walsh said. “To have Amazon open its second headquarters in Illinois would bring excellent opportunities for our residents. This would be an important accomplishment for the state of Illinois.”
The committee is being led by the Mayor and Governor as honorary chairmen and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle who is serving as vice chair. The committee is comprised of a diverse group, including collar county governmental leaders, representing all the assets Illinois has to offer.
Amazon officials said the company plans to invest more than $5 billion for construction and create more than 50,000 jobs. The headquarters location is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and billions in additional investment. Requirements for the headquarters location include 500,000 square feet of initial space with the ability to expand to eight million square feet over the next ten years. The site needs direct access to public transportation and be located within 30 miles of a population center within 45 minutes of O’Hare Airport.
“Will County meets all these requirements and we would welcome Amazon to our county,” said Walsh. “However, the investment Amazon could make in Illinois will benefit the entire Chicagoland region with the creation of good paying jobs and the creation of many other supporting jobs in retail, restaurants, transportation and other areas.”