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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 1, 2005

GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES OPPORTUNITY RETURNS INVESTMENT PACKAGE TO BRING CABINETRY MANUFACTURING PLANT AND UP TO 250 NEW JOBS TO CARROLL COUNTY

CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the awarding of more than $630,000 in grants and credits to Medallion Cabinetry, a leader in the semi-custom cabinetry industry for residential remodeling and building, that will allow the Minnesota-based company to open a new manufacturing plant in Lanark within the next several months.  The plant, which will produce kitchen and bath cabinetry, parts and accessories, is expected to employ up to 250 people by its third year of operation.
 
“We’re thrilled that Medallion Cabinetry has decided to open a new manufacturing facility in Carroll County that will bring more goods jobs to the community.  By being pro-active and targeting our resources at the community level, we’re building an extremely competitive business environment where manufacturers large and small can thrive today and tomorrow.  Our goal is to continue to provide more economic opportunity for working families in Northwest Illinois and across the state, and we’ll never stop working to make that happen,” Gov. Blagojevich said.
 
The 180,000 square-foot facility will have state-of-the-art technology for the precision fabrication and assembly of Medallion’s semi-custom cabinetry products.  The plant will produce Medallion’s new Premium line of inset cabinetry for distribution nationwide.
                                                           
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is administering the assistance package of grants and credits.  DCEO will make available Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) corporate income tax credits over the next ten years based on job creation estimates; Employer Training Investment Program (ETIP) job training funds that will help enhance the skills of Medallion’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.
 
“As a rapidly growing manufacturing company with Midwestern roots, Medallion Cabinetry is deeply appreciative of the commitment shown by  the Governor’s Opportunity Returns program and local officials to bring new jobs into northwest Illinois,” said Tom Cook, Executive Vice President and General Manager of
 
Medallion Cabinetry, Inc.  “In making the decision to locate our next manufacturing facility in Lanark, Medallion is confident that the community supports and shares our strategic plan to position the company as an employer of choice in that region.”
 
Presently, Medallion employs more than 1,000 employees and operates manufacturing and wood finishing facilities in Waconia, Shakopee and New Ulm, Minnesota, as well as in Independence, Oregon and Culver, Indiana. The company’s products are distributed nationwide through kitchen and bath dealers, as well as selected home centers.   
 
Medallion offers more than 1,900 combinations of door styles, wood species and color finishes in semi-custom cabinetry through kitchen and bath design centers and dealers nationwide. Medallion is a wholly owned subsidiary of Elkay Manufacturing Company of Oak Brook, Illinois.  Elkay is a supplier of high value residential kitchen and bath, cabinetry and accessories, commercial and residential plumbing products, including stainless steel sinks, faucets and water coolers. The Elkay Cabinetry Group includes Medallion, Yorktowne Cabinetry and Mastercraft Cabinetry and is the fourth largest cabinetry group in the United States. Medallion is the largest component of the Elkay Cabinetry Group and is headquartered in Waconia, MN. 
 
“Gov. Blagojevich and I believe that the we must continually make these kinds of strategic investments that will pay important economic dividends at the local level for years to come.  Partnering with an innovative company like Medallion will not only create a great many new jobs in the community, but also enhance the economic vitality of the entire region.  Opportunity Returns will continue providing communities across Illinois with the support they need to attract and retain business, create good jobs, and promote more vigorous economic growth,” said DCEO Director Jack Lavin.
 
“Working with local assets and attracting good quality jobs are always a priority for the Carroll County Economic Development Corporation, and we are very excited to have accomplished both.  Medallion Cabinetry has been a great company and friend throughout this process, and we welcome them to our community.  The new jobs that it will be bringing back to Lanark will have even greater impacts on the county as a whole as it brings new families and fills existing empty homes.  Our local businesses as a whole will breath fresh air again.  This could not have been accomplished without the partnerships with DCEO, Medallion, the City of Lanark, MSA engineering and Blackhawk Hills RC&D/EDD.  We appreciate Gov. Blagojevich’s vision in economic development, and his assistance in helping us bring new economic growth to Carroll County,” said CCEDC executive director Dave Keiser. 
 
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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