Gates Corporation to add 80 jobs locally

March 19, 2012 02:40 PM
The announcement by Gates that its Galesburg plant could increase by 80 manufacturing employees after a successful vote Friday night from its union, the United Steelworkers of America Local 685, comes after months of collaborative effort between Gates management, union, employees, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the city of Galesburg. The announcement confirms a dedicated partnership and demonstrates a desire by all to rebuild the Gates facility and the area communities.
In addition to adding 80 jobs to the workforce, an investment of over $3 million to the Galesburg and Knoxville area will be realized. This investment by the Gates Corporation shows a strong commitment to growing the local facility and improving our economy.
Supports being offered to the local Gates plant include training assistance by the city of Galesburg through its Employer Training Program. These grants are available for training costs for employers seeking to upgrade employee skills and obtain higher levels of productivity and competitiveness. In addition to this training grant, City Council will be asked to provide temporary storage of equipment and supplies until the local Gates facility is set up to accept them. Approval of the training grant and temporary storage will come before the City Council in a special meeting scheduled for March 26, at 5:30 p.m., at City Hall.
The Illinois DCEO has offered tax credits through the existing Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) program agreement that was part of the warehouse/distribution project approved in 2008 and which added 25 union jobs to the local plant. The warehouse/distribution project was the catalyst for pursuing and competing for more jobs and investment opportunity. Gates was able to amend the 2008 agreement to include this most recent grant rather than having to start from scratch to apply.
Also lending support for this effort were the Workforce Investment Office of Western Illinois and local legislators Representative Don Moffitt, State Senator Darrin LaHood, State Senator John Sullivan and Representative Norine Hammond.
The local plant is continuing to position itself to be one of the most competitive and progressive units in the Gates Corporation structure. The local Gates plant was in competition with a Mexican plant for these jobs and its workforce can be credited for ensuring the jobs come back to this area. The good fortune being felt locally with this possible expansion is tempered with the knowledge that the community of Charleston, Missouri will lose its Gates facility. The Galesburg area is sensitive and understanding of the impact such a closing can have on a community.


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