National Award Recognizes Rivian for Community Impact

 Rivian testing their battery modules in their facility in Irvine, CA (Photo: Rivian)

Rivian testing their battery modules in their facility in Irvine, CA (Photo: Rivian)

Trade & Industry Development Magazine has named Rivian among this year’s recipients of its Corporate Investment and Community Impact (CiCi) awards.

The national honor recognizes the “pronounced ripple effect” companies can have on the communities in which they choose to grow, with 30 total awards given to companies across the U.S.

The Michigan-based startup sited its first production facility in West Normal, purchasing the former Mitsubishi plant and its equipment for $16M in January 2017. Mitsubishi closed the 2.6M square-foot factory the summer of 2016, costing 1,200 Central Illinois jobs.

“We initially were looking at this facility from the point of view of equipment assets – not necessarily to buy the whole thing,” Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe told the magazine. “What we immediately started to see was that this was much more than a plant; it was a community in line with how we viewed the world.”

The award also points to the work of The Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council (EDC), the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Town of Normal in bringing Rivian to McLean County, EDC representatives say.

“We are honored that other industry professionals value the efforts of McLean County,” Interim CEO Mike O’Grady said in a statement Thursday. “We are confident in the work that Rivian is already doing to impact our community, and this award shows others feel that way, too.”

The Town gave the startup an incentive package including a five-year tax abatement and $1M, given the company hires 1,000 employees and invests $175M into the site by 2024.

The Town approved an estimated $107,200 2017 tax abatement for the automotive startup in February after Town staff and the EDC certified Rivian had invested $500,000 into its new facility.

The full list of award winners and project details is available on the magazine’s website.

Breanna Grow