Recent reports claim that Illinois lost 44-hundred manufacturing jobs in the month of August.
Greg Baise, a Jacksonville native and President/CEO of the Illinois Manufacturer’s Association, has been touring Illinois throughout the month voicing his concerns.
WLDS-WEAI News caught up with Baise, who shared his thoughts on the condition of the state.
“Illinois has had some very difficult times the last 15 years. We’ve lost 304,000 manufacturing jobs and in the Manufacturer’s Association, that obviously is a concern to us, and it should be a concern to the people of Illinois, because really, manufacturing is the backbone of our economy, the backbone of the middle class in Illinois. And when you’re losing those kind of jobs, it’s a detriment to the state,” says Baise.
Baise talks about his connection to Jacksonville and how the local area has been affected by the manufacturing industry.
“I’m from the Jacksonville area originally, I grew up there. In the fifties, sixties, seventies, the growth of manufacturing along with the other attributes that the Jacksonville area had, it’s economy has really changed and why is that? Why is Illinois losing these kind of jobs? Why is downstate Illinois in particular been hurt? And we at the Manufacturer’s Association believe that government in general and state government in particular, and the lack of smart policies for the state, have really had a negative impact,” Baise explains.
As for resolutions to the problem, Baise mentions the upcoming November elections and the responsibility of the state’s lawmakers.
“Looking at what the loss of jobs mean to our state’s economy is something that has to be factored in to the decisions of our lawmakers. And so we’re requesting that voters make sure they discuss these issues when they’re talking with their candidates or when the candidates are talking to them about getting their votes. If that occurs, maybe we can start turning this around,” says Baise.
Baise’s tour of Illinois goes through Springfield tomorrow. Baise will present at 10 am at the Illinois State Capitol Blue Room.