Council approves two measures to assist Gates plant expansion

March 27, 2012 03:53 PM
Doug Krause, Gates Plant Manager and Mayor Sal Garza
The City Council, at its March 26 special meeting, approved two measures that will assist Gates in resuming its rubber hose production line by expanding its local facility by 87 employees, 71 of those employees in production and 16 as support staff. Council unanimously approved a grant application for $50,000 to go toward training new employees and a resolution that promises assistance in storing Gates equipment for a period of six months or less while the facility readies itself for the expansion. These two measures were instrumental in the successful expansion of the local Gates manufacturing facility.
In August of 2011 the Mayor and city staff met with Doug Krause, Plant Manager of the local Gates facility, to discuss how the city might be of assistance to secure up to 80 jobs at the Galesburg plant instead of going to a competing plant in Mexico. The city discussed various options to encourage Gates to expand the Galesburg plant and Gates expressed interest in the Galesburg Employer Training Program for up to $50,000 and the possible usage of city facilities for the storage of inventory for up to six months.
"The community of Galesburg is appreciative to the Gates Corporation for the opportunity to compete for these good jobs and sound investment in the local facility and its employees," stated Mayor Sal Garza. "Furthermore, we are receptive and poised to strategically partner in additional job creation initiatives with Gates and will be exploring these potential developments."
The city also engaged the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity who later presented to Gates that it would amend its current EDGE tax credits agreement with Gates, from a 2008 warehousing project, to include those employees hired for the new rubber hose production operation.
The rubber hose production line was moved from the Galesburg plant to other locations and for about the past 12 years the Galesburg plant has been producing rubber slabs/sheets. Bringing back the production of rubber hoses to the Galesburg plant will increase employment from around 108 to 195 employees with wages starting at $10.50 and growing to $14.50 in two to three years for production workers.


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