"However, Illinois lost 125,000 manufacturing jobs between 2008 and 2014, according to the Illinois Policy Institute. While other Great Lakes states have regained manufacturing jobs after the Great Recession, Illinois has not."
" 'Two business policy issues relate directly to a state's ability to attract good manufacturing jobs: Right-to-Work policy and workers' compensation policy,' Illinois Policy's Michael Lucci wrote in September 2014, two months before Bruce Rauner was elected governor.
Last week, Southtown sister publication the Post-Tribune covered the opening of Hoist Liftruck Manufacturing Inc. in East Chicago. The company operated for many years in south suburban Bedford Park, but CEO Martin Flaska said he'd had enough with Illinois' high taxes, lack of affordable housing and worker's compensation practices.
- "We were having a difficult time recruiting people once the high schools (near Bedford Park) started eliminating technical programs, and we need to have welders," Flaska said.
Businesses are leaving Illinois for Indiana and other places, or closing for good. Job opportunities are dwindling, especially in the Southland. "Youth unemployment stings south suburbs far worse than north," a recent Tribune headline said.