USDA’s 2 agencies, 620 jobs not coming to the Quad Cities

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The Quad Cities’ bid to attract two United States Department of Agriculture agencies and 620 new jobs to the Rock Island Arsenal fell short of the 67 locations announced that remain in contention Tuesday.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue released the shortened list from the original 136 “expressions of Interest” received from groups in 35 states. Fourteen of the remaining contenders are from Illinois or Iowa.

The Quad Cities Chamber, through its economic development division Quad Cities First, had proposed the relocation of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Economic Research Service headquarters to existing office space located on the Rock Island Arsenal. 

The USDA said travel requirements, labor force statistics and work hours most compatible with all USDA office schedules were factors in deciding the locations to keep on the list.  

Locations in Illinois and Iowa still in the running:

Illinois
Algonquin
Barrington
Des Plaines
DuPage County
Huntley
Kane County
Orland Park
Schaumburg
Warrenville

Iowa
Ames
Ankeny (twice)
Council Bluffs
Des Moines
 

EARLIER UPDATE

The Quad Cities is attempting to attract two United States Department of Agriculture agencies to the region: the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Economic Research Service headquarters.

Combined, the two agencies would add 620 new jobs to the region.

The Quad Cities Chamber, through its economic development division Quad Cities First, has proposed the relocation of the agencies to existing office space located on the Rock Island Arsenal. 

“Having two federal agencies whose missions are dedicated to agricultural advancement located in the Heartland near its customers with such a rich history of agricultural excellence seems like a natural fit for USDA programs,” said Liz Murray Tallman, Chief Economic Development Officer for the Quad Cities Chamber.

The Chamber is leading a regional consortium comprised of community leaders from local, state and federal agencies, educational institutions, agricultural industry and organizations, and other representatives of business and industry that are working collaboratively to attract the agency headquarters to the Quad Cities.

“Numerous reasons make the Quad Cities region a competitive choice for these agencies. We have low-cost, high-quality office buildings within close geographic and travel proximity of these agencies’ constituents that is readily available to meet a fast occupancy timeline. Pair that with the region’s low cost of living and commute times, nationally regarded K-12 education and ample cultural and recreational amenities, and you have a win-win situation,” said Tallman.

The Quad Cities region has been successful in relocating other federal entities in the past, including First Army, Army Contracting Command and the Civilian Human Resources Agency, with extremely low employment turnover.

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