Durbin, Duckworth, Bustos, Loebsack Announce Addition Of 50 Jobs At Rock Island Arsenal

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with U.S. Representatives Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17) and Dave Loebsack (D-IA-02), today announced the addition of 50 new human resources professional positions at Rock Island Arsenal (RIA) through the U.S. Army’s Civilian Human Resources Agency (CHRA) in order to support the Defense Health Agency (DHA).  These positions are in addition to the approximately 160 positions added to CHRA’s activity in Rock Island in 2018, and the stand-up of the U.S. Army’s additive manufacturing center at RIA.

“The Rock Island Arsenal is a crucial asset for both our national security and the economy of the Quad Cities region, which is why I’ve continued to fight for federal funding and job initiatives that boost the Arsenal’s competitiveness,” Durbin said.  “Illinois has long taken a leadership role in our nation’s defense, and I look forward to continuing to work with the Army and the entire congressional delegation, to assure that the workload at the Arsenal remains strong.”

“The work done at the Rock Island Arsenal is vital to enhancing our military readiness, strengthening our national security and supporting the Quad Cities economy,” Duckworth said.  “I’m glad these new jobs will be coming to Rock Island Arsenal, and I’ll continue working with my colleagues to ensure its long-term success and the thousands of jobs that it creates.”

“The Rock Island Arsenal makes significant contributions to the overall strength and readiness of our nation’s defense,” Bustos said.  “That’s why I’m so pleased to join Senators Durbin and Duckworth and Representative Loebsack today to announce additional jobs to further support their efforts and capabilities.  The expertise of the men and women at the Arsenal produce high quality work, and I encourage the Army to take a hard look at the talented local labor pool in the Quad Cities when filling these positions.  I’ll continue to work closely with my congressional colleagues and the Army to support the Arsenal’s future success.” 

“The Rock Island Arsenal not only supports the brave men and women of our Armed Forces but is a critical piece of the Quad Cities economy.  Adding these 50 new positions helps strengthen the Arsenal and ensures it can remain competitive,” said Loebsack.  “One of my top priorities has been ensuring the Arsenal has the resources needed to continue being an economic driver in the Quad Cities region.  I am proud to work with Rep. Bustos and Sens. Durbin and Duckworth to advocate on behalf of the Arsenal and its workforce.”

Today’s announcement follows a letter led by Bustos in September urging the DHA to utilize CHRA for its human resources needs.

The Rock Island Arsenal plays a necessary role in our armed forces by adapting to the needs of the military and quickly manufacturing critical items to protect our troops.  ‎

In August, RIA secured $52 million in federal funding for renovations and information technology upgrades for the Army Sustainment Command Headquarters.  In October, the Army announced $25 million for new, industrial-strength 3D printers to be located at RIA.

Last year, the members announced new guidance from the Army that will help manufacturing at RIA remain competitive with the private sector and maintain a reliable workload.  As Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, Durbin also worked to add $120 million for Humvee ambulance production and $19.3 million to accelerate the Center for Advanced Manufacturing in Fiscal Year 2019.  Additionally, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy moved more than 100 Army human resources staff to Rock Island to use excess office space.