Following an evaluation of about 20 worldwide cities, German technology and materials group ThyssenKrupp selected Chicago as its North American regional headquarters, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Thursday.
The investment will bring about 100 new jobs to the Chicago area, and Emanuel used the opportunity to again tout the city's workforce and its transit infrastructure.
"ThyssenKrupp’s decision to locate their North American headquarters in Chicago is a testament to the world-class business environment the city offers," Emanuel said in an advanced written statement. "By combining transportation, infrastructure, and the best workforce in the world, Chicago is a destination for the greatest companies around the globe, and ThyssenKrupp is a perfect example of this."
ThyssenKrupp said it employs about 180,000 people in 80 countries worldwide, including about 1,400 already in Illinois. CEO Torsten Gessner said his company last year had $68 billion in sales of automotive components, elevators, escalators and plant construction equipment.
"Both the Mayor and World Business Chicago made a very compelling case for a dynamic and vibrant world-class city we will be proud to call home," said Torsten.
The announcement gives a bit of a boost to Emanuel in the wake of a one-two punch of bad news on the job front. Earlier this month, insurance giant Aon Corporation announced it was moving its corporate headquarters from Chicago to London. Of greater concern, though, are American Airlines' plans to cut nearly 10,000 Chicago-area jobs as its parent company, AMR, deals with a bankruptcy.
"I'm Jewish, I worry a lot. It comes with the DNA," Emanuel responded when asked if the airline's move worried him.
But the mayor said recent moves, such as a plan to reform the Tax Increment Financing process, the development of a 25-year cultural plan and the merger of two big tourism organizations are all focused on one goal: investing in Chicago.
"Whether it's TIF, tourism, cultural plan or recruiting a company, it's all part of one storyline and one strategic focus: how to create jobs and economic opportunity," said Emanuel.