Secretary of the Army, John McHugh, Visits Quad Cities
A top federal official hopes to bring more jobs to one of the largest employers in the Quad Cities. Today, Secretary of the Army, John McHugh, toured the Rock Island Arsenal and met with state and local leaders.
At a press conference in Moline, McHugh encouraged governments and businesses to work together to preserve jobs that he said are "too important to lose."
"Total job activities here have increased the dollar business throughput, and even in these tough times, we're going to try to give them every possible competitive advantage to continue to grow those programs into the future."
McHugh also announced $70 million in military contracts that have been awarded to the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center on the island.
His visit comes as Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin works to pass a bill that would spend $225 million at this and other arsenals.
Durbin said after the press conference, "I'm looking for the day when a major manufacturer says we need a part, 'Why don't you call the arsenal?' It's a shame when we have to go to California to do x-y-z. The arsenal thinks, 'We can build x-y-z. Let's do it here and employ local people.'"
During his tour of the Joint Manufacturing Center, Secretary of the Army McHugh watched workers assemble vehicles for the National Guard. Then, he attended a business forum with local officials.
The Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center has 1,100 employees.