Lake County Courting More Illinois Business

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An unidentified Illinois company could join others relocating to northwest Indiana. Lake County IN Economic Alliance Chief Executive Officer Karen Lauerman says the manufacturer is considering a $50 million plan to move from a Chicago suburb to the East Chicago Enterprise Center and create around 500 jobs in the region by 2022. She says the wage for workers would average $55,000 per year.

Lauerman says the plans cover a lot of positive bases in Lake County, including high-wage jobs, redevelopment of an unoccupied industrial property, construction work and a significant level of investment. Though early in the process and not yet a "done deal," Lauerman anticipates all necessary approvals will be signed off on within 4-6 weeks. The company is seeking various state and local tax incentives. It will soon face multiple rounds of hearings with the city council and municipal boards.

This isn't the first Illinois company to recently propose expansions or relocations in the Hoosier State. Last month, Franklin Well Services Inc. announced plans to move its headquarters to Vincennes and create more than 90 jobs over three years. American Stair Corp. Inc. said in March it will relocate its headquarters to Hammond, investing $3 million and adding 180 workers. T&B Tube Co. is also moving operations from Illinois to Lake County. The company's $5 million investment in Gary could lead to 100 jobs by 2017. In addition, Chicago-based Edsal's April expansion plans include around 300 Gary jobs as part of a new industrial furniture manufacturing operation.

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