cat797 carouselIllinois is not short on “cool things” made in the state. The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association named Caterpillar Inc.’s 797 foot mining truck the “Coolest Thing made in Illinois” as part of its Makers Madness Competition. The company received a trophy and banner for its honor this week.

The vote for the inaugural bracket-style event took place this spring and more than 300,000 votes were cast by everyday people. Caterpillar’s Decatur-made mining truck, which beat out 260 other products for the honor, stands at 23 feet tall on six 13-foot tires. It has top of the line class productivity and fuel efficiency to make it more environmentally friendly. The truck also has a top speed of 40 mph and can carry a 400-pound payload for a single trip. That’s enough to carry 686,000 ears of corn.

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Rivian carouselYour next package might be delivered in an electric vehicle made right here in Illinois. Rivian, an automotive company based in Normal, has partnered with Amazon to bring green transportation to your front door.

One of three prototype vehicles Rivian has been working on was showcased this past week—the high-tech delivery van includes exterior cameras with a 360-degree view, hands-free navigation guidance, smart shelving units for easy package retrieval and clearly indicated break lights to warn other drivers of frequent stops.

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Google HQ in Chicago Google recently announced plans to hire 10,000 workers in Chicago and other cities over the next five years, with a focus on recruiting Black talent as part of the company’s racial equity commitment announced in June.

Currently, Google has more than 1,300 employees in its Chicago office, which is located in the city’s Fulton Market district. The Chicago office has been ramping up its technology team in search, hardware and cloud computing.

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Apple fritters BullochDo you crave apple fritters all year round? Buritt Bulloch, the owner and doughnut maker at Old Fashioned Donuts in Roseland on the South Side of Chicago, claims it’s always apple fritter season there!

Bulloch opened the shop in 1972 with his wife, and today his daughters and granddaughter work there.

The apple fritters are beloved by the neighborhood, but he didn’t start making them until about 10 or 12 years ago in an attempt to use up leftover dough.

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Technology Illinois ranks No. 13 on the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation’s 2020 State New Economy Index, jumping three spots from the last Index in 2017 and achieving its highest ranking yet.

ITIF has released state rankings about every three years since 1999. The rankings are based on 25 indicators that are divided into five categories: knowledge jobs, globalization, economic dynamism, the digital economy and innovation capacity. The survey ranks states on multiple factors—from “knowledge” jobs and exports to venture capital and broadband access—with an eye toward the structure of the economy related to innovation and technology.

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