Bustos, Vilsack: Broadband infrastructure will expand, support John Deere and strikers

Local News

Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Illinois, joined Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on his stop in Geneseo, Ill., Friday afternoon to tour Hammond-Henry Hospital’s new Emergency Department — a site partially funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Vilsack announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s plan to expand broadband infrastructure access to rural communities. The USDA set aside $1.15 billion to be used in the form of loans and grants toward projects to aid in this goal. The two emphasized the importance to those located in more rural areas to have access to this infrastructure for vocational, academic, and every-day life purposes.

While speaking at the conference, Bustos took a moment to discuss the ongoing John Deere strike. She offered words of encouragement to John Deere union workers, while she recognized the impact the company has had on the Quad Cities community.

“I hope that this gets to a good place,” Bustos said. “We need that. When you’re talking about the number one employer in the Quad Cities, with 6,400 employees in the three plants that we have in the Quad Cities, we want to encourage everybody to get the job done,” she said.

“John Deere is making record profits,” she said. “We’re proud of that. It’s a great company. They’ve done a lot for our community. We’re proud they’re making record profits. We want to make sure that the employees feel that they’re honored with that success, and I feel that that’s where we have got to come together.”

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