NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Employment is surging at Rivian’s Normal plant with more than 1,900 people employed at the plant.
According to CEO of the Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council Patrick Hoban, the company has hired more than 1,000 people in the last four months.
Hoban said he’s heard the goal is 2,000 employees in Normal by the end of this year, and Rivian is far exceeding expectations.
“According to the development agreement, they were supposed to be at about 400 jobs right now. It seemed like a month ago they were at 1,400 and now to hear they’re at 1900; we expected some growth and impact, but nowhere near at this rate,” Hoban said.
Hoban said Rivian’s success in Normal equals success for other opportunities in the area.
“As they grow, we’re getting calls from other developers looking to see what other potential we have here,” Hoban said.
The growth and impact reaches far beyond just the Town of Normal and City of Bloomington or McLean County. Hoban said the employment surge and continual hirings has a regional affect on other counties like Peoria or Champaign.
“This is a regional impact that’s going on. There’s already a large labor-shed of 50 miles; that’s where we usually pull from,” Hoban said. “You can already see the people coming into work not only at Rivian, but also Ferrero, State Farm. This has been going on for awhile here in Central Illinois and I think its not accelerated.”
To do date, Rivian has invested nearly $1.5 billion into the former Mitsubishi plant which is more than 10 times the original proposed amount according to Mayor Pro Tem for the Town of Normal, Kevin McCarthy.
McCarthy was a council member for the original pitch in 2016.
“Either he produced and got some incentives or he didn’t produce and got nothing. So it was very very low risk for us,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy said the work is just beginning to bring in even more interested companies to the area.
“We have to keep working on making sure there’s good housing available, good transportation available inside the community and that the areas we have available, we do our work as a municipal government to make sure there’s good infrastructure for these companies when they want to locate here,” McCathy said.
By 2022 Rivian hopes to have 4,000 people working at its Normal plant.
Rivian is expected to ramp up production in July.