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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 18, 2001

Governor Announces Illinois FIRST Grant to Marion That Will Help Create 90 New Jobs

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced the approval of $506,700 in Illinois FIRST grants to the city of Marion for roadway improvements in Butler industrial park to support the expansion of two firms that will result in 90 new jobs.

"The investment in new facilities by Big 3 Precision, Inc., and Diagraph will create 90 new jobs over the next two years and will retain 93 other positions," Gov. Ryan said. "This is a tremendous boost for the area's economy. Keeping existing jobs and attracting new jobs to Illinois is one of my priorities and Illinois FIRST can help communities provide the transportation infrastructure that is needed for businesses to locate or expand."

Diagraph plans to construct a new 60,000 square foot building to help increase the manufacture of industrial marking and stenciling equipment, including ink and consumable supplies. The expansion will allow them to retain 75 employees, and create 10 new jobs.

Big 3 Precision, Inc. plans to invest more than $1,250,000 to expand their machining and fabrication divisions, and add a stamping division. The growth will allow the retention of 18 employees, and the creation of 80 new jobs within the next two years.

Roadway improvements in the industrial park include the extension of the east industrial road from the IL 148 intersection easterly 1,120 feet into the industrial park, and construction of a southbound left turn lane and northbound right turn lane on IL 148 at the east industrial road entrance.

Illinois FIRST funds will pay for 50 percent of the work with Marion responsible for the remaining 50 percent.

The funds are allocated under the Economic Development Program and the Truck Access Route Program, both administered by Illinois Department of Transportation. The EDP program targets transportation improvements that help communities retain or attract businesses and associated jobs. TARP funds help communities upgrade roads to accommodate large trucks.


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