Motorola will keep its headquarters in the Village of Libertyville, Illinois, Gov. Pat Quinn and Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha announced Friday during a press conference.
Surrounded by company employees and leaders donning red "Motorola Mobility Illinois" shirts, Quinn signed into law an incentive package that will not only keep Motorola Mobility's 3,000 Illinois jobs within the state but also mandates that the company invest more than $500 million in research and development over the next three years.
The incentive package, offered through the Economic Development for a Growing Economy, or EDGE, tax credit, will allow Motorola to retain its state employee income withholding tax liabilities as long as the jobs are maintained, said Warren Ribbley, Illinois' director of commerce. The EDGE tax credits are estimated at more than $10 million over the next 10 years.
"Good jobs are the best way to help the most people. I know that Motorola is going to lead the way for us," Quinn said. He added that Abraham Lincoln was fascinated by the dawn of the telegraph and that Lincoln "would be so proud that our state, Illinois, is home to Motorola."
"This is an exciting day for us," Jha said.
In January, Motorola split into two separate companies - Motorola Mobility Inc. and Motorola Solutions. The headquarters of the latter is located Schaumburg, but before Friday, the Motorola Mobility headquarters had not been determined.
"The question that has continued to come up is, 'Where will the Motorola [Mobility] headquarters be?'" Jha said.
He said company leaders explored many locations and had extensive discussions before deciding to keep the headquarters in Libertyville.
"We've built our history together," Jha said. "We have a world-class, high-tech workforce here. The headquarters has always been here."
Jha also mentioned the partnership with Quinn and his staff, including the incentive package, as "important to our decision to stay here."Jha said the incentive package will allow the company to not only maintain its employees in Illinois but also grow its presence in the state.
"At the end, I think this incentive package was an important aspect," Jha said.
Quiin said Illinois' unemployment rate has dropped for 14 consecutive months, down to 8.8 percent in March. Since Jan. 2010, 89,500 new jobs have been added in Illinois, including nearly 10,000 manufacturing jobs.
"We want to grow our jobs. We want to grow our employment," said Quinn. "There's more brainpower here [at Motorola] than probably any place in Illinois. Jobs follow brainpower."
He added that it is part of his job to work with companies large and small in an effort to maintain and create jobs.
"It's important to work in partnership with companies like Motorola," Quinn said. "Illinois is Motorola country, as far as I'm concerned."
Last year, Illinois led the Midwest in job creation, according to Quinn. Aside from creating good-paying jobs, Quinn says he wants to make sure children are well-prepared for the technological world.
"Motorola is a key to that," Quinn said.
Quinn toured the company's Motorola Experience Center, where he had the chance to see the new Motorola Atrix 4G smart phone and the Motorola XOOM tablet.
"If there is no vision, the people perish," Quinn said. Jha, he added, "has a vision for the post-PC world."
Libertyville Mayor Terry Weppler was thrilled about the announcement.
"I think it's fantastic," said Weppler, who grew up in Libertyville. "It's great for the village."