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Economy

QC Competes For 600 Federal Jobs

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When two agencies of the US Department of Agriculture move out of the Washington DC area next year, they might come to the Quad Cities. The chamber of commerce has applied to host the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Economic Research Service, with a total of more than 600 jobs.

Liz Murray Tallman, the chamber's Chief Economic Development Officer, says the Quad Cities is just one of quite a few applicants, including several others each from Iowa and Illinois.

"We feel our competitive advantage is that we have existing federal office space located on a federal campus, the Rock Island Arsenal, and we understand that several of our competitors are actually looking at greenfield sites - meaning they would have to build new facilities."

Tallman says our other advantages include a central location, low cost of living, short commuting times, and great cultural amenities.

In recent years, the Quad Cities Chamber has helped bring other federal agencies here, including First Army and the Army Contracting Command.

"We also have had great success in helping relocate other federal agencies to the Quad Cities, and once they get here, they love it."

She isn't sure when the USDA plans to choose finalists, or make a final decision, just that it hopes to re-locate the two agencies by the end of next year. 

Where-ever the two agencies move, they'll bring a total of 620 jobs.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.