The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development will throw in $24 million in tax credits to help UPS. "We simply have to do everything we can to help companies like UPS stay and prosper in Illinois," said Warren Ribley, director of DCEO. Ribley said the investment package will help UPS retain 500 jobs in Rockford and 2,500 in Hodgkins, because of the size differences of the operations, but company officials couldn't confirm specifics. UPS spokesman Gary Langston said the company didn't have jobs on the chopping block, but the state aid will help keep the facilities competitive long-term. UPS has 1,500 workers at the Rockford hub, including 500 full-time employees. For the holiday peak season, it adds about 600 more part-time workers. "Rockford is obviously an important place to us," Langston said. "Our objective every day is to maintain our business and grow our business. ... We're very appreciative for (the state's) continued support." In 2006, UPS invested $25 million to update equipment and expand sorting capacity at the Rockford hub, which is its second-largest air hub in the country. UPS is the main reason Rockford is the 19th largest cargo airport in the country. Mike Dunn, chairman of the Greater Rockford Airport Authority board of commissioners, commended Ribley and Gov. Pat Quinn for their aid to keep UPS here. "For the first time since I've been here, we have a governor and we have a (DCEO) director who actually knows we exist up here," Dunn said. "The thought of UPS cutting back or the thought of UPS reducing its operation in Rockford is frightening to us. ... We appreciate what UPS does for this community, we certainly appreciate what UPS does for this airport." Contact staff writer Thomas V. Bona at 815-987-1343 or email@example.com. This is BS. I would like the money to go to business here in Rockford that can use it. Business that will employ full time workers. The Rockford air hub is the worst run place I have seen. The supervisors in Rockford have no idea how to manage people.