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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 13, 1999

RYAN ANNOUNCES COOPERATIVE EFFORT TO SAVE 930 ILLINOIS' JOBS

CHICAGO -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that the nation's largest manufacturer of work uniforms has abandoned plans to close its two Chicago-area factories and instead will create 200 to 300 new jobs over the next three years.

"For Illinois to remain competitive in the next century, we must not only create jobs, but we must retain the jobs that we already have," Ryan said. "This is a good example of how government and the business community can work together to save jobs in Illinois. I applaud the efforts of everyone involved in keeping these jobs in Illinois."

Ryan joined State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, House Speaker Mike Madigan, D-Chicago, State Sen. Louis S. Viverito, D-Burbank and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs in assembling a package of job training funds, financial assistance and tax credits to retain Uniforms To You, a division of Cincinnati-based Cintas. The package will preserve 930 Illinois jobs and create an additional 200 to 300 jobs over the next three years.

"I am very pleased that Governor Ryan, Treasurer Topinka and officials at DCCA were able to react so quickly to preserve these jobs. This new era of cooperation will bode well for every region of Illinois," said Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan.

In return for the state aid package, Cintas has agreed to invest $6 million to $12 million for an expansion of its Bedford Park operations.

The company, which is located in an existing enterprise zone, will qualify for an investment tax credit, a jobs tax credit, sales tax exemptions and a utility tax exemption. Additionally, DCCA has agreed to provide the company with an Industrial Training Program grant to upgrade the skills of existing employees and train new employees.

Treasurer Topinka's office will assist by providing low-interest financing under the State Treasurer's Economic Program.

"I am delighted to assist Uniforms To You in the creation of hundreds of new jobs," Treasurer Topinka said. "As State Treasurer, I am in charge of investing billions of dollars of public funds. I can think of no better investment than enterprises that put money in the pockets of Illinois workers."

The company also will benefit from the community of Bedford Park's decision to approve an industrial redevelopment tax reduction resulting in an estimated $3 million in savings over 10 years. Commonwealth Edison agreed to sell land adjacent to the facility to accommodate an expansion.

"The State of Illinois intends to be an aggressive advocate in the retention, expansion and attraction of jobs to Illinois," Acting DCCA Director Pam McDonough said. "Keeping this company not only avoids layoffs for 900 families, but will provide new training and new opportunity for even more people."

Uniforms To You is the nation's leading designer and provider of customized uniforms for hotel, food, lodging and service employees. Hotel clients, such as Hilton and Hyatt, use the company to outfit bellman, doormen, housekeepers and food and beverage workers. The company also provides uniforms for workers at banks, restaurants and casinos. The company has operated manufacturing facilities in Illinois since its founding in 1963.

"Our thanks go out to the entire State of Illinois team in putting this package together," said Michael DiMino, President and Chief Operating Officer of Uniforms To You. "Without the hard work of so many people, we would not have been able to continue operations in Illinois."

The package will allow the company to retain at least 700 employees at its Bedford Park facility and an additional 230 employees at a companion facility on Lawrence Avenue in Chicago. Cintas also pledged to create 200 to 300 new full-time jobs over the next three years at its Bedford Park site.


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