Gov. Bruce Rauner, Romeoville Mayor John Noak and others who helped lure Amazon to Illinois gathered Thursday to get a look inside the e-commerce giant’s new fulfillment center in Romeoville.

The Romeoville facility is one of nine that will employ more than 8,000 workers in Illinois by next year. Two also are operating in Joliet, one in Edwardsville, near St. Louis, while others in Monee and Aurora and will open later this year. It also has Amazon Fresh, a new online grocery shopping business that opened a facility in Wood Dale. Another facility has been leased in Waukegan.

The need for speedier delivery to consumers in the Midwest prompted Amazon to choose these sites in Illinois. As consumers shift more toward online shopping, the need for speed is what drives Amazon. So with available land in the southwest suburbs and Joliet, Amazon has been building the new distribution centers where taxes are lower and an eager workforce is available. “We have a long-term future here in Illinois,” said Victor Davis, general manager of the Romeoville facility.

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