Home > News & Events > Nucor Steel Kankakee Plans Modernization Project

Nucor Steel Kankakee Plans Modernization Project

KANKAKEE, IL — September 12, 2019 — Nucor Steel Kankakee, Inc. is upgrading its Chicago region steel bar mill by investing $40 million for a new state-of-the-art continuous casting machine and other improvements. The company is also currently completing its $180 million merchant bar quality mill expansion at the site, which is expected to begin operation later this year.

The new continuous casting machine will further improve product quality, broaden the mill’s product offerings and utilize the mill’s full-melt capacity. Located in Bourbonnais, the bar steel mill currently employs 350 Nucor teammates.

“We are building on our efforts to modernize our steel mill in Kankakee to better compete in the global steel market and serve our customers,” said Jon Witherow, Nucor Steel Kankakee’s new General Manager. “This is a great community in which to do business and we are very excited to bring additional investment to the Kankakee community and the State of Illinois.”

“Nucor is certainly an employer of choice in Kankakee County,” noted Tim Nugent, President/CEO of the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County. “We salute the company’s significant capital investments and commitment to providing high-skill jobs and competitive compensation in our market.”

The Kankakee MSA was the leading metropolitan area in the United States in 2018 for year-over-year growth in jobs, wages and output, according to Area Development magazine. The MSA has been ranked the #1 Small Metro in Illinois for Job & Tech Growth by Milken Institute for 5 of the past 6 years, seeing $1.8 billion in major capital investment from 2014 to 2018.


The Economic Alliance of Kankakee County is a public-private partnership that works to create jobs and expand the economic base by improving the local business climate in the Greater Chicago community of Kankakee County, Illinois. Working under the community’s 2014-19 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), the Alliance is challenged to help spur $500 million in new business investment and 500 new jobs, along with assisting 150 prospective new businesses. For more information, visit kankakeecountyed.org or phone 815.935.1177.