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April 5, 1999


SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced the city of Gillespie will receive a $245,000 grant from the Community Development Assistance Program (CDAP) to help revive the operation of a defunct cabinet-making company and restore 35 jobs.

The city will use the funds to make a five-year loan to KAAN Inc., which will in turn use the money to purchase new equipment as well as the buildings and equipment of Duracraft Kitchens Co., which closed its doors in August of 1995. KAAN Inc. manufactures kitchen cabinets and vanities for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other customers.

"This project is an excellent example of how the state and local governments can work together to promote economic development," Ryan said. "This grant to the city of Gillespie will preserve 35 jobs and allow KAAN Inc. to invest more than half a million dollars to purchase new equipment and upgrade its facility in Macoupin County."

As its part of the agreement, KAAN will hire a minimum of 35 full-time employees and invest $546,000 by June 30, 2000.

CDAP grants, administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, help smaller communities create or retain jobs that might otherwise be lost to larger urban areas. They are targeted primarily toward low-income and moderate-income areas.

"Too often the news about the big projects in bigger cities often overshadows the significance of a project like this," said Pam McDonough, Acting Director of DCCA. "A bankrupt company has been resurrected in Gillespie, and that's good news for everyone."

Kent Hites, CEO of KAAN Inc., said the CDAP grant was critical to reestablishing the Duracraft Kitchens operation. "Duracraft was one of the largest manufacturers in Macoupin County," Hites said. "We believe this operation can again become a substantial employer in the community and, with the help of the state, we can do so in a shorter period of time."


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