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Renewable Energy Grant Will Create 100 Illinois Jobs

A $5 million federal stimulus grant from Illinois' green industry business development program will spur 100 new manufacturing jobs at Ingersoll Machine Tools.

The company will match the grant funding and is using the $10 million to develop and build wind turbine parts.

Illinois leaders say wind is a major component of the state's long-term energy plan to have 25 percent of all state produced energy come from renewable sources.

In making the announcement, while on a state tour, Governor Pat Quinn says driving the employment rate up is a priority. Illinois' unemployment rate in February was 11.4 percent, above the national average. The jobs will be created at an Ingersoll location in Rockford, which has an unemployment rate of 19.7.

"The most important thing we can do to help people in Illinois is to help provide jobs," Quinn said during the tour. "It's the best social program ever devised, the best way to fight crime, the best way to keep families together. The best way to help the most people is a J-O-B."

State Rep. Dave Syverson ( R-Rockford), said he's glad jobs are going to be created in the area.

"Anytime we're dealing to do something to expand manufacturing is exciting," Syverson said.

Illinois currently ranks third in the nation for installation of new wind turbines. Right now wind makes up about three-percent of all generated energy in the state, according to a press release.

Quinn said he hopes Illinois can lead the way in terms of green jobs and said the state has the potential to lead the nation in wind energy jobs.

"No question that Illinois is open for business when it comes to wind power and we want all of our businesses, small and large, to participate in this movement," Quinn said.

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