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May 15, 2014

Governor Quinn Visits Innovative Manufacturer as Illinois Comeback Continues
State Unemployment Rate Reaches Lowest Level Since 2008

CICERO – As Illinois’ unemployment rate fell to its lowest point in more than five years, Governor Pat Quinn today visited an innovative and growing local manufacturer, United Gasket Corporation, to discuss the state’s ongoing economic recovery from the worst recession since the Great Depression. Illinois’ unemployment rate has dropped to 7.9 percent – its lowest level in more than five years and lower than when the Governor took office. Today’s event is part of the Governor’s commitment to driving Illinois’ economy forward.

“Illinois is making a comeback,” Governor Quinn said. “Today’s news that unemployment has fallen to its lowest level since 2008 is further proof that our economy is expanding and creating jobs. Companies like United Gasket Corporation are hiring, small companies are being created and larger companies are growing and adding more workers.”

“While we know we have much more work to do to create more jobs and growth in Illinois, this is good news and we must continue driving our economy forward,” the Governor said.

The Illinois unemployment rate hit a new five-year low in April when it fell to 7.9 percent, according to data released earlier today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security. More people working pushed the rate down 0.5 points, the lowest rate since December 2008 and largest monthly decline in the history of this data series that began in 1976.

Since taking office and inheriting decades of mismanagement, the Governor has enacted worker’s compensation reform and unemployment insurance reform to make Illinois a better place to do business, in addition to major fiscal reforms such as pension reform and Medicaid restructuring that are restoring fiscal stability to Illinois. Today Governor Quinn is pushing a new tax cut for businesses that provide job training. By lowering the cost to train workers, this will make it easier for businesses to create new jobs and ensure workers have the skills to drive a 21st century economy.

The Governor is also proposing to reduce the fee to establish a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) by more than 90 percent, from $500 to $39 – the lowest in the nation. Formation as an LLC encourages entrepreneurs to invest their time and money into viable business enterprises. Reducing the filing fee to $39 would make it easier for small businesses to start and grow in Illinois.

United Gasket Corporation is an innovative Illinois company that has reported double-digit percentage growth in revenue and profit for each of the last three years. The manufacturer of custom die cut parts for automobiles and other industries currently employs 90 people, but expects that number to increase by 10 to 15 percent in the next six months.

“We are thrilled with the support we have received from the state for job training and to improve our production,” United Gasket President Mark Pahios said. “The resources here have helped us develop business in Mexico and China. We are working hard to send Illinois products into those markets.”

United Gasket has received about $20,000 in state job-training grants over the last decade for services accessed through University of Illinois Business Innovation Services. The company has invested in lean manufacturing techniques to take out unneeded costs and push into new markets overseas.

Governor Quinn said the company’s commitment points to a need for state government to adopt a responsible budget that supports Illinois’ core strengths in the global economy – its education, workforce training and transportation systems.

For more information on doing business in Illinois, visit illinois.gov/dceo.

RAW TAPEGovernor Pat Quinn discusses Illinois' economic comeback at United Gasket Corp. in Cicero. Audio also includes United Gasket President Mark Pahios and DCEO Director Adam Pollet.

RAW TAPEQ & A w/Governor Pat Quinn.


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