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October 25, 2000

Newell Rubbermaid Expands in Illinois

FREEPORT -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced the recently consolidated Newell Window Furnishings/Kirsch division of Newell Rubbermaid Inc. will construct a new warehouse- distribution facility in Freeport, which will accommodate the company's expansion plans. Newell Rubbermaid currently employs 592 workers at the company's Freeport manufacturing facility and the expanded warehouse-distribution facility will result in the creation of 75 new jobs.

"We are proud that Newell Rubbermaid has decided to locate its new warehouse facility in Illinois," Ryan said. "This state has watched the company grow from a manufacturer of curtain rods into the multi-consumer business that it is today. Newell is a business of sound practices, and retaining the facility's jobs contributes to Illinois' overall economic prosperity."

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA) worked with Newell Rubbermaid on the project by providing a job training grant through the Industrial Training Program (ITP) and financing through the Large Business Development Program (LBDP). The project may also be eligible for tax credits under the EDGE (Economic Development for a Growing Economy) program.

"Because of Governor Ryan's leadership, we have the tools in place to make sure companies like Newell Rubbermaid expand in Illinois," DCCA Director Pam McDonough said. "Programs like EDGE help Illinois assist growing companies, and as a result, we have new opportunities for our state to compete in global markets."

"It makes sense to locate the distribution center near our manufacturing facility in Freeport," said Steve Thomas, President of Newell Window Furnishings/Kirsch. "I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at the state and local level who helped make this decision possible."

Freeport Mayor Jim Gitz stated, "I am very pleased. This is a win-win situation for both Newell and Freeport. Newell has called Freeport home for a long time and this expansion culminates months of hard work by Newell, the State of Illinois, the Freeport Area Economic Development Foundation and the City of Freeport. The new distribution center will anchor a new and much needed industrial park on the south side of Freeport. The industrial park, in turn, will generate still further jobs and opportunities for expansion in the future."


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