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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 3, 2004

GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES OPPORTUNITY RETURNS GRANT FOR COMPANY EXPANSION THAT IS BRINGING 30 NEW JOBS TO DUQUOIN

SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced the awarding of a $412,000 Community Development Assistance Program (CDAP) grant to MPP Management allowing the company to transfer its Kansas City, Kansas production line to DuQuoin - bringing new jobs to the area and highlighting another success story of the Governor’s Opportunity Returns initiative for the Southern region of Illinois.  The grant will support nearly $800,000 in private investment by the company and provide the infusion of capital needed to get the new facility up and running.     
                                         
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity grant is part of Opportunity Returns, the Governor’s comprehensive economic development strategy to create jobs and spur growth in Southern Illinois.  The state funds will be used by MPP Management to purchase equipment components for its new production line, creating 30 new jobs in Southern Illinois. 
 
“MPP Management’s addition of a third production line in DuQuoin is a major victory for Southern Illinois,” said Governor Blagojevich.  “Not only does it create new jobs and help spur the region’s economy, but it also sends a message to other companies that they should look to Illinois as a great place to do business.  With successes like this, one company at a time and one job at a time, we will build a stronger economy in the Southern region and throughout Illinois.”  
 
In 2000, MPP Management constructed a new 40,000 square foot facility in DuQuoin and transferred much of the zinc rack and barrel plating work that previously took place in its Kansas plant.  Many of the company’s existing zinc customers were located in Southern Illinois, which made relocation and expansion in DuQuoin a logical move.  MPP Group of Companies is well recognized in the metal finishing industry, with a reputation for providing its customers with quality metal finishing at a fair price.  MPP prides itself on its excellent employee safety record and an open door policy when dealing with employee issues. 
 
“Bringing 30 good new jobs into the region is a very important step for Southern Illinois.  Governor Blagojevich’s new Opportunity Returns initiative is clearly paying major dividends for our region already, and it is great to know that the state is here for us when we need a little extra help to get things moving,” said State Senator David Luechtefeld, Assistant Minority Leader (R-Okawville).
 
“I’m proud to work with Governor Blagojevich to reinvigorate our Southern Illinois economy,” said DuQuoin Mayor John Rednour.  “This latest expansion is just another example that the Governor’s approach is working.  By growing the economy through Opportunity Returns, we are bringing renewed opportunity to DuQuoin and the entire Southern region.”
 
“When you consider the number of jobs created, this grant is an outstanding investment,” said Jack Lavin, Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.  “We do not believe that access to capital should stand in the way of companies relocating to Illinois or expanding here.  We are excited that a quality company like MPP is expanding its operations here in DuQuoin.”
 
Governor Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns regional economic development plan is the most aggressive, comprehensive approach to creating jobs in Illinois’ history.  Since a one-size-fits-all approach to economic development just doesn’t work, the Governor has divided the state into 10 regions – finding areas with common economic strengths and needs, and developing a plan with specific actions for each region.  This grassroots effort for the Southern region is a product of significant outreach over several months with business, civic and labor leaders, and elected officials.  The more than 40 specific projects that the Governor announced in November for Southern Illinois are designed to be flexible and effective.  This plan is tailored to deliver real results that local businesses will see, feel, and, hopefully, profit from.


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