Bloomington-Normal EDC: Rivian surpassing benchmarks in 1st year

Bruce Rauner and R.J. Scaringe
Rivian Automotive CEO R.J. Scaringe (middle) talks with Gov. Bruce Rauner during Rivian’s grand opening on March 2017. (WJBC file photo)
(Adam Studzinski/WJBC)

By Patrick Baron

NORMAL – Rivian Automotive is surpassing expectations in the year since it planned to build electric vehicles in Normal, according to the CEO of the Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council.

Kyle Ham explained Rivian has already created around 30 engineering and maintenance jobs in its first year, even though that wasn’t part of the initial agreement with the company.

“I think one of the most exciting things is that they had no commitment in year one to create any jobs, and that number is closing in or well over 30 now in year one,” said Ham. “So they’re, to me, ahead of schedule. They’re doing things right, they’re transparent with us, and I’m excited to see what they’re going to do this year.”

Ham noted the company has been meeting benchmarks that it promised the county it would make, and in some instances, surpassing those benchmarks.

“This year they were expected to create or invest a half a million dollars in the property – they’re well over that number,” Ham explained. “As well as purchase the property, which they did back in January of ’17.”

While Rivian hasn’t set a launch date for its anticipated concept car, Ham said he has seen it and was impressed with the vehicle. The company has disclosed plans to build an electric-powered five passenger truck and seven passenger SUV in the coming years.

Patrick Baron can be reached at


WJBC Voices: Celebrating local workers

By Mike Matejka Labor Day is perhaps the most mis-understood holiday in the nation’s calendar.  Traditionally viewed as a summer’s end celebration, its real roots are in worker protest, trying to claim and celebrate their role in society. In Bloomington, local unions organize and march together, along with community groups and aspiring politicians, in Monday’s…

WJBC Voices: Staycations

As the days of summer wane, you might be looking for at least one more experience, perhaps even a “bucket list” item to do.