SPRINGFIELD — A huge blow to Illinois came during the week after Caterpillar Inc. announced its plan to move its headquarters out of Illinois.
While more companies make the move to other states, State Senator Brian Stewart (R-Freeport) continues to support legislation and policies that attract businesses to Illinois.
Also during the week, Illinoisans experienced the first heat wave of the summer right when many of them are already expecting to see large rate increases on their utility bills.
Caterpillar headquarters leaving Illinois
Born and bred in the Land of Lincoln, the long-time Illinois company Caterpillar, Inc. announced during the week its plan to move its headquarters from Deerfield, Illinois, to Irving, Texas.
For Illinois, the announcement is devastating news, with an expected loss of about 230 direct jobs by the end of the year on top of indirect jobs and potential new job growth that could result from any expansion within the company.
The giant manufacturing company’s move comes just weeks after another Fortune 500 company, Boeing, announced its plans to leave the state.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Illinois is among the states that has lost the most manufacturing workers in the last five years. Additionally, Illinois’ unemployment rate continues to lag behind other states at 4.6 percent. The national average is at 3.6 percent.
Summer heat is here
Illinois was under a heat advisory much of the week and will continue to see those high temperatures continue into next week.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is offering tips to help everyone stay safe when temperatures rise, including:
- Keep hydrated and avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages.
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing and stay out of the sun when possible.
- Avoid strenuous activities.
- Check on your neighbors, particularly older residents, and make sure they are OK.
Additionally, there are currently six cooling centers open across Illinois that provide residents with a place to cool off. Check with your local municipalities for local ones in your area.
This heat wave comes as Ameren Illinois electric customers are already set to see increases in their utility bills. Not only will consumers likely see increases due to the heat and increased electric usage, but will also begin noticing increased rates, which took effect June 1.