Governor Rauner welcomes Rivian Automotive to Normal

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner officially welcomed Rivian Automotive to its new home in Normal, Ill., on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 (photo: Zach Dietmeier/EDC)

Published March 10, 2017

NORMAL, Ill. - Gov. Bruce Rauner celebrated innovation and a forward-facing entrepreneur during his first visit to Rivian Automotive’s plant facility in Normal.

Rauner and local government, education, and community business leaders formally welcomed Rivian and its CEO, RJ Scaringe, to Normal on March 7, 2017.

“This plant is an incredible asset, and thanks to the creativity and hard work of an American innovator and entrepreneur, we have the opportunity to create a better economic future for hundreds and hundreds of people in Central Illinois,” Rauner said.

According to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Rivian will receive $49.5 million in state tax credits for the creation of 1,000 jobs over 10 years. The incentive is part of the Illinois Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) program.

“We saw this community come together in partnership with the State of Illinois to present a unified voice for this plant so that it would be reused,” Bloomington-Normal EDC CEO Kyle Ham said. “This success is proof that with strong partnerships, things can be done with economic development in Illinois.”

The EDGE credit is assessed on income tax for the created jobs, based on salary for each position created and the number of jobs created annually. Rivian must meet performance goals set by the state to receive the aid.

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe thanked the community and State of Illinois as a whole for the support his company has received.

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe shows local and state officials around the plant in Normal.

“We initially were looking at this facility from the point of view of equipment assets – not necessarily to buy the whole thing,” Scaringe said. “What we immediately started to see is that this was much more than a plant; it was a community in line with how we viewed the world.”

Normal Mayor Chris Koos thought Rivian has found “a perfect home” in Normal.

“Their values and brand perfectly align with our values and brand: sustainable, forward thinking, entrepreneurial, and embracing a future suggested by the latest generation of technology,” Koos said.

Rivian also plans to work with Central Illinois education institutions to provide new opportunities for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning with hands-on experience outside the classroom.

“We’ve been working hard to try to really set our roots here, in terms of the types of relationships we have with local education institutes to leverage these assets to embrace STEM as well as the supply base and other partners we can bring in to leverage the assets that this community provides,” Scaringe said.

“I thank our educators for working with Rivian to train our young people so that they can use their skills and knowledge to take advantage of the high-tech manufacturing careers that are coming right here to Normal,” Rauner said.

Rivian projects pilot production to begin in 2019, with product launch to follow in 2020.

By: Zach Dietmeier