50 new jobs to be added at Rock Island Arsenal
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50 new jobs to be added at Rock Island Arsenal

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ROCK ISLAND — At the urging of Illinois lawmakers, an additional 50 new jobs have been added at the Rock Island Arsenal.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, and U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, Tuesday announced the addition of 50 human resources professional positions at the Arsenal through the U.S. Army's Civilian Human Resources Agency (CHRA) in order to support the Defense Health Agency (DHA). 

The 50 new jobs are in addition to 160 positions added in 2018 to the CHRA.

"The Rock Island Arsenal makes significant contributions to the overall strength and readiness of our nation’s defense," Bustos said in a release. "That’s why I’m so pleased to join Sens. Durbin and Duckworth and Rep. 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," Bustos said. 

Bustos, a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, led the effort by sending a letter in September to Lt. Gen. Ronald Pace, who is the director of the Defense Health Agency, asking him to choose the CHRA as the provider of human resource services. 

The other choice would have been the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), another human resource provider. 

"We believe CHRA will help DHA reach the next level in supporting the medical needs of our men and women in uniform," Bustos wrote on Sept. 13. "We understand this is an important and significant decision for DHA and appreciate your consideration of this matter."

Two years ago, Bustos helped pass legislation aimed at filling nearly 1,000 vacant workspaces on the Rock Island Arsenal. While negotiating the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, Bustos included provisions to benefit the Arsenal in several ways, including finding jobs to fill the empty spaces. 

"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 in a release. "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."

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