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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2000

'IllinoisFIRST' Helps Bring 600 Jobs To Spring Valley

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that Illinois FIRST is helping bring a new 1.2 million-square-foot Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. distribution center to Spring Valley. The facility will employ approximately 600 people when fully operational.

"Wal-Mart needed to locate a large retail distribution facility to ship products to stores in the Midwest. The company chose Illinois in part because we were able to meet their infrastructure needs through Illinois FIRST and other programs," Ryan said.

State Representative Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley) requested the $1.5 million in Illinois FIRST funds that will be used for water storage tanks needed for the project.

"I want to thank Governor Ryan for his efforts to secure the needed infrastructure funding to bring this distribution center to Spring Valley," said Mautino. "I look forward to working with Wal-Mart and the local labor force to ensure this project is a success."

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA), the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), state Representative Frank Mautino and state Senator Patrick Welch (D-LaSalle) worked with Wal-Mart and Spring Valley officials to bring the project to the community.

DCCA is providing the company with $600,000 in Industrial Training Program funds that will assist with employee training costs. In addition, DCCA is being asked to approve the expansion of the Bureau-Putnam County Enterprise Zone. Wal-Mart is also eligible for EDGE tax credits.

"This project demonstrates how Illinois FIRST can be utilized in conjunction with other economic development programs to bring good jobs to Illinois," said DCCA Director Pam McDonough.

The Illinois Department of Transportation is providing up to $495,000 for improvements to Illinois Route 6 and Illinois Route 89 necessary to provide access to the new Wal-Mart Distribution Center. This funding is available through the IDOT Economic Development Program (EDP) and will be utilized to construct left and right turn lanes at truck and employee entrances. In addition, traffic signals at the truck entrance will also be provided with these funds.

"As mayor of the City of Spring Valley, I'm proud to welcome Wal-Mart to our community," said Mayor James A. Narczewski. "This project represents the fulfillment of a 30 year dream to extend city water and sewer services north to Interstate 80. The decision by Wal-Mart to locate its warehouse distribution center opened the door to obtaining state assistance for this infrastructure improvement. I thank Governor Ryan, Representative Mautino, Senator Welch and Spring Valley City Council members for their efforts to make this project a reality."

"This project signals Wal-Mart's continued commitment to the state of Illinois," said Mike Duke, Executive Vice President of Logistics for Wal-Mart. "As the newest neighbor in Spring Valley, we will work with great diligence to become the ideal partner in both commerce and community."

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. currently operates 107 stores, 26 SAM's Clubs and two distribution centers, and employs more than 34,100 associates in the state of Illinois.

Construction on the new facility is expected to begin in April, with initial hiring expected to occur in November.


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