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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 11, 2004

GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES $750,000 OPPORTUNITY RETURNS GRANT FOR NORTH CENTRAL REGION BUSINESS EXPANSION CREATING 50 NEW JOBS

SPRINGFIELD – Delivering on an Opportunity Returns pledge to create more jobs and promote economic growth, Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced a $750,000 Opportunity Returns grant to the Village of Deer Creek in Tazewell County to support the construction of a new factory to build modular homes.  The new Homeway Homes, Inc. facility will create 50 new full-time jobs for the North Central region.  There will be a groundbreaking on Monday for the new facility at 10:00am at the Deer Creek Business Park - 1/8 mile south of the railroad tracks off Route 150.
 
“Schieler & Rassi has been a dealer of quality homes in Illinois for years,” said Governor Blagojevich.  “We’re proud to work with Deer Creek and the company to support its growth as it expands its operations by building new homes.  This is the exactly the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that is turning our economy around and putting our local residents back to work.”
 
The funds for this initiative are part of the Community Development Assistance Program (CDAP), a federally-funded grant program that assists Illinois communities by providing grants to local governments to help them in financing economic development, public facilities and housing rehabilitation projects. The program is targeted to assist low-to-moderate income people by creating job opportunities and improving the quality of their living environment. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity administers the program. Deer Creek will use this grant to construct water infrastructure, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, a storm water detention pond and street improvements in support of Homeway Homes’ new facility.  Schieler Properties will construct the facility and lease it to Homeway.    
 
Schieler & Rassi Quality Builders, Inc. has been a dealer for a modular home manufacturer for eight years.  Since its sales volume was growing, the company decided to form a new company, Homeway Homes, Inc., dedicated to the manufacturing of modular homes.  By manufacturing the units directly, the process would be more efficient and would greatly improve quality control and flexibility.
 
“Governor Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns initiative is all about investing our limited resources in projects that will make a real difference for our communities.  The 50 new jobs this grant helps create will definitely make an important difference in the North Central region,” DCEO Director Jack Lavin said.
 
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 North Central region is a product of significant outreach over several months throughout each region, with business, civic and labor leaders, and elected officials.  The more than 40 specific projects that the Governor announced in December for the North Central region are designed to be flexible and effective.  Each plan is tailored to deliver real results that local businesses will see, feel, and, hopefully, profit from.


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