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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2005

GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES GROUNDBREAKING FOR PELLA CORPORATION’S NEW MANUFACTURING FACILITY BACKED BY $7 MILLION OPPORTUNITY RETURNS INVESTMENT

MACOMB - Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns program today formally welcomed Pella Corporation to Macomb with the groundbreaking of the company’s new 275,000 square-foot manufacturing facility.  The Iowa-based company’s decision to locate the new facility in Macomb was largely made possible through $7 million in Opportunity Returns support.  The new facility will allow the premium-quality window and door maker to expand its manufacturing operations and bring 480 new jobs to the area.  Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Assistant Director Roxanne Nava joined company and local officials for the groundbreaking ceremony in Macomb today.
 
“A successful economic development strategy must focus on improving the skills of the area’s workforce, reducing the cost of doing business and making available the resources business needs to compete and thrive in today’s global economy.  We’ve invested heavily in building up these assets, and it’s great to see top-flight companies like Pella take notice of that.  With today’s groundbreaking, we welcome a tremendous addition to the city of Macomb who will act as a major provider of quality jobs and a key contributor to the economic vitality of the West Central region,” Gov. Blagojevich said.
 
The economic development package DCEO will make available includes Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) corporate income tax credits over ten years based on job creation estimates; a Large Business Development Program (LBDP) grant; a Community Development Assistance Program grant to the City of Macomb to make needed water and sewer infrastructure improvements; Employer Training Investment Program (ETIP) job training funds that will help enhance the skills of Pella’s workforce; and additional financial benefits, such as sales tax exemptions and tax credits for job creation resulting from the company’s location within an Enterprise Zone.
 
“Pella’s new Macomb Operations in McDonough County will allow us to serve our growing customer base, creating more outstanding career opportunities in the process,” said Mel Haught, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Pella Corporation, recognized by FORTUNE magazine as one of the nation's "100 Best Companies to Work For".  “The western Illinois region has historically earned a reputation for a dedicated workforce creating quality products, so it’s very fitting that Pella will be producing our most historic-looking line of windows built with today’s modern technology, energy-efficiency and convenience in Macomb.”                                                                                               
 
Founded in 1925, Pella Corporation has long been recognized in the window and door industry for its technology and innovation, having been awarded more than 100 product and design patents.  In addition to windows and patio doors, the company also manufactures storm doors and entry door systems with the same level of quality and technology for which Pella is known worldwide.  Headquartered in Pella, Iowa, the company is represented by select building materials retailers, including Lowe’s, which features the Pella Design Center, a “store-within-a-store” designed to take the complexity out of window and door purchases, and a Direct Sales Network operating Pella® Window & Door Stores nationwide.  To receive more information, call 888-84-PELLA or visit www.pella.com.          
 
“Attracting a quality company like Pella to Macomb, along with the 480 new jobs it will bring, is a huge victory for our local economy.  Major projects like this one demonstrate that Gov. Blagojevich’s constant work on the frontlines to make Illinois an extremely competitive place to do business is paying real dividends,” said State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville).
 
“Gov. Blagojevich and I understand that manufacturing remains a vital cog of the local economy.  By attracting Pella and this new manufacturing facility to Macomb, we are not only bringing quality jobs to the area, but fortifying the manufacturing industry and strengthening the economic foundation of this region,” State Representative Rich Myers (R-Macomb) said. 
 
“In today’s global economy, companies have choices.  To act as a vital resource that can help fuel business growth, we need to not only deliver financial support, but aggressive outreach, hands-on assistance and customized investments.  By doing so, Illinois will continue distinguishing itself as a world-class place to do business for leading companies like Pella and keep our state’s economy moving forward,” DCEO Director Jack Lavin said.
 
Gov. Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns regional economic development strategy 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 – each with a regional team that is empowered and expected to rapidly respond to opportunities and challenges.  Opportunity Returns is about tangible, specific actions to make each region more accessible, more marketable, more entrepreneurial and more attractive to businesses.  It is about upgrading the skills of the local workforce, increasing the access to capital, opening new markets, improving infrastructure, and creating and retaining jobs.  Opportunity Returns is about successfully partnering with companies and communities, both large and small, to help all of Illinois reach its economic potential.


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