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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2000

'Illinois FIRST' Helps Bring New Jobs To Ottawa

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that Illinois FIRST will help ITW Minigrip Zip-Pak, a division of Illinois Tool Works, construct a new manufacturing facility in Ottawa, Illinois.

The plant, which will produce plastic packaging products, is expected to create 73 new jobs and be fully operational in 2001.

"Even with its global growth, ITW is still an Illinois company, and we are extremely pleased that they decided to expand here in Illinois," Ryan said. "My administration is committed to helping Illinois companies grow and prosper and this project demonstrates that our efforts are paying off."

Several factors influenced ITW Minigrip's decision to build their new facility in Illinois, including $50,000 in Illinois FIRST funding for transportation improvements, job training assistance through the Illinois' Industrial Training Program and infrastructure funds from the Business Development Public Infrastructure Program. The grants are administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA).

"Our central location, well-trained and available workforce and friendly business climate mean companies like ITW don't need to look outside Illinois to locate a new plant," said DCCA Director Pam McDonough.. "Because of Governor Ryan's economic development policies, we're able to respond to a company's needs with speed and flexibility."

Governor Ryan also credited state Representative Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley) for supporting the allocation of $50,000 in Illinois FIRST funds to the City of Ottawa to assist with rail spur construction needed at the site.

Ottawa Mayor Bob Eschbach thanked Governor Ryan and DCCA for their efforts to bring this plant to Ottawa. "The State's contribution, coupled with the City's own T.I.F. Incentives, available sites, quality labor force and friendly business environment made this work," Eschbach added, noting that Minigrip will be the first business to locate in the Warehouse Properties Industrial Park at Route 6 and 71. Eschbach also thanked the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce, the Illinois Department of Employment Security and Illinois Valley Community College for their help in successfully siting this new facility. "It was truly a team effort," he said.


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