[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today sent a letter to the Department of Energy in support of Chrysler’s application for funding to help finance facility, tooling, and equipment upgrades designed to raise production capabilities at the Belvidere, Illinois plant. The project will allow Chrysler to retain 1,950 jobs on two full shifts. The upgraded facilities would also support more than 500 contract employees and create the possibility of adding a third shift.
On July 6, in a letter to Belvidere Mayor Fred Brereton and Belvidere City Council, Durbin pledged to do whatever he could to help finalize plans for a possible expansion and commended the local leaders for their efforts to help grow Chrysler’s operations at the Belvidere Assembly Plant.
Text of the letter appears below:
October 12, 2010
Secretary Steven Chu
Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington D.C. 20585
Dear Secretary Chu:
I write in support of Chrysler’s section 136 loan guarantee application that would help finance facility, tooling, and equipment upgrades designed to raise production capabilities at the Belvidere, Illinois, plant.
The loan guarantee would allow Chrysler to build a new body shop and upgrade the body sealer lines, paint facilities, and the trim/chassis/final assembly operations. Chrysler projects that with the proposed upgrades, vehicles built at this facility for the next five model years would save nearly 200 million gallons of fuel.
Chrysler estimates the project would help the company retain two full shifts at the facility (1,950 jobs) and create the possibility of adding a third shift. In addition to the regular employees, the upgraded facilities would support more than 500 contract employees.
Thank you in advance for your careful consideration of Chrysler’s loan application.
Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator