The Technology Council seeks to aggressively and proactively promote the interests of the Illinois technology community by advocating for public policy that fosters innovation and promotes economic growth. The Council will seek to promote workforce development policies, advocate for world-class technology infrastructure, avoid overregulation on the industry and support innovators access to the capital they need to grow.
Happy Monday! Hopefully, everyone had a wonderful weekend.
Work from Home Revolution to Accelerate Chicago Innovation hosted a webinar on "The Employee of the Future" last Thursday. The whole thing was well done but it was a poll in the middle that I found the most interesting. The moderators surveyed the viewers with the following question: "If there were a cure and/or a vaccine for COVID-19 and it was safe to go back to work, how many days a week would you like to be in the office for greatest productivity". Only 6% of the audience responded with 5 days a week! A plurality of people said 2-3 days. With more and more companies transitioning to work from home permanently after being forced to experiment with it due to the pandemic, expect this trend to accelerate. Employees like the flexibility, and lack of a commute, work from home provides and companies that offer this feature will have a large competitive advantage when it comes to recruiting.
Gig worker status a future legislative battle The Illinois Chamber has always been supportive of the gig worker independent contractor model used by many in our membership. Rep. Guzzardi and Senator Castro both plan to introduce legislation modeled after California which would greatly restrict technology companies from utilizing the independent contract work model. This week Lyft started an independent expenditure PAC to help combat this type of legislation. The group hopes to educate legislators on the economic loss from this type of law. Passage of this law will not only cause economic harm to Illinois job creators, but it will restrict worker freedom for those trying to earn some extra spending money. The Illinois Chamber will continue to oppose this type of legislation and will let you know when anything similar is filed.
Facebook to build data center in DeKalb Recently Facebook announced its intentions to build a massive data center in DeKalb, Illinois. The site will exceed 900,000 square feet and cost more than $800 million to build. This project will mark the seventh one approved by the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity since the historical tax credit championed by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce was signed into law. The tax credit provides an exemption from sales and some other taxes for projects with capital investments greater than $250 million. Facebook's project is expected to open in 2022 and will create high paying jobs. The company estimates hundreds of construction jobs and 100 permanent data center operations positions.
Welcome Instacart The Illinois Chamber is thrilled to welcome Instacart to the Technology Council.