Thursday, March 16, 2017
T&D Metal Products, a third-generation family-owned manufacturing company announced today the expansion of their shipping and receiving, trucking and engineering services. The company has experienced 54% growth in the past 5 years, which has resulted in tripling the trucking fleet to meet shipping demands as well as adding an additional 40,000 sq. ft. of space. The company has a diverse customer base and serves agriculture, trucking, telecomm, health care and automotive.
“I started working at T&D when I was 10 years old which has given me experience in all aspects of the business from shipping and receiving, maintenance, trucking and more,” said Shane Dittrich, president and CEO of T&D Metal Products. “When I took over the company in 2012, I made it a priority to build a world-class business that embraces change with the capability to adapt to ever changing economies.”
T&D has made a name for themselves with their concept-to-completion approach. The engineering team works with customers to improve product development and reduce costs. Just recently the company saved a customer over 2 million through the standardization of parts and the streamlining of the manufacturing process.
“I purposefully set up T&D to be a one-stop-shop for our customers. We manage the design and prototype, fabrication, inventory and freight, as well as assembly, finishing and packaging. Our business model reduces our customer’s cost and increases process efficiency,” said Dittrich.
T&D has also doubled their sales department to manage customer inquiries while focusing on client retention and growth. The company is based out of Watseka, IL and is the main employer within the community. In fact, when many manufacturers were suffering from the economic downturn in 2007, T&D made the commitment to stay in Watseka.
“Since joining the company, I have been impressed with Shane’s vision to diversify into additional markets with the goal to double revenue by 2020,” said Seth Yon, director of business development at T&D Metal Products. “Pride in workmanship, customer relationships and community has built a strong foundation for future success.” The next 5 years will see an additional 50% revenue growth for the company with a focus on building the next generation of leadership.
“The team at T&D works with a sense of urgency in taking care of customer needs from collaborating on a design concept, reducing cost to quality production and on time delivery,” said Kevin Bevard, Komatsu PMO.
For additional information about T&D Metal Products, visit: http://www.tdmetal.com.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
EDWARDSVILLE — Four Madison County enterprise zones, including a new zone encompassing parts of Collinsville, Glen Carbon, Maryville, Highland, St. Jacob and Troy, recently received approval at the state level.
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) certified the zones in December, but they didn’t become official until the recent approval from the Illinois Legislature. Three of the areas were actually pre-existing zones that, by law, required re-certification this year.
Madison County Chairman Alan J. Dunstan said in a release that the enterprise zones are an essential element to economic development.
“The enterprise zone program in Madison County has been particularly successful, providing the county and local units of government with the tools and incentives necessary to stimulate new business development and create jobs for our residents,” Dunstan said.
Enterprise zones help businesses by extending a property tax abatement for 10 years for the assessed value of their improvements or renovations as well as a 6.25 percent sales tax exemption on building materials used to improve or renovate property within the zones. The sales tax exemption applies only to building materials purchased from Illinois retailers or suppliers.
According to the DCEO, statewide enterprise zones resulted in more than $2 billion in capital investments during the 2014 fiscal year. Those investments created more than 9,000 jobs and resulted in the retention of more than 14,000 jobs.
“Without the benefits offered as part of an enterprise zone, we would not have seen the development of Madison County as the midwest’s premier inter-modal distribution center or numerous other developments that have created jobs and economically benefitted the county in many ways, such as the multi-billion dollar expansion at the Phillips 66 refinery,” Dunstan said in the release. “Importantly, the enterprise zones also help us retain businesses.”
The three renewed enterprise zones in the county include the Riverbend, Southwestern Madison County and Gateway Commerce zones. The Gateway Commerce Enterprise Zone includes portions of unincorporated Madison County and the municipalities of Edwardsville and Pontoon Beach. The zone was designated as an Illinois Enterprise Zone area on Sept. 8, 1997.
The Riverbend Enterprise Zone includes the municipalities of Alton, Bethalto, East Alton, Hartford, Roxana, South Roxana and Wood River, as well as parts of unincorporated Madison County. The Southwestern Madison County Enterprise Zone includes portions of unincorporated Madison County and the cities of Granite City, Madison and Venice.
The newest enterprise zone in the county is the Discovery zone, which includes portions of Collinsville, Glen Carbon, Maryville, Troy, Highland and St. Jacob.
“There is no revenue coming into Madison County if new businesses do not move into our area or existing businesses choose not to expand or relocate to another area,” Dunstan added. “I am particularly happy with the approval of the Discovery enterprise zone, which I expect to significantly benefit a number of municipalities and their residents.”
Dunstan said Madison County Community Development staff members are already arranging meetings with representatives of municipalities in the Discovery zone to familiarize them with its benefits. The chairman also said Community Enterprise Zone Update Meetings will be held in all areas affected by the zones in the coming weeks.
Illinois Farmer Today
Thursday, July 23, 2015
ATLANTA, Ill. — A little more than two years ago, on a quiet Sunday morning, the Schmidt family and their employees got terrible news — their Atlanta farm equipment business building was on fire.
On Aug. 1, they will be ready to invite the public to see their comeback, a newly constructed, 60,000-square-foot building with modern conveniences.
It stands on the same site as the building lost by fire, but has new features for employees and customers, says Michael Schmidt, president of Central Illinois Ag.
His great-great-grandfather, Richard Schmidt, started the business as a small blacksmith shop in 1898. In 1926, the second-generation Schmidt signed the first contract with J.I. Case, transforming the business from a blacksmith shop into a full-blown farm machinery dealership.
Other mergers followed over the years until in 2001, Central Illinois Ag Inc. was created. Along with Michael, other active family owners today are Steve Schmidt, Tim Evans, and Brian Reeser.
They have about 95 employees at their Case IH dealerships in Atlanta, Clinton, Farmer City and Mason City, with about 33 employees at the Atlanta location.
Schmidt said the family felt the community support after the fire that shocked them out of bed on June 30, 2013. “It was a surprise. No one expects to wake up to a phone call that your work building is on fire,” says Matt Barling, Central Illinois Ag precision farming specialist at the Atlanta location. By 7:30 a.m. that Monday, staff and friends were there to help, getting filthy and sweaty but more than willing to pitch in.
“We got everything out that we could save and reuse,” Schmidt says. “Our people never quit working.” Soon, an employee’s mobile home appeared on site for staff to have a place to work.
“We had customers in and out. Guys brought us lunch. We appreciate that,” Barling says. “The fire didn’t destroy us, it made us stronger.” The new energy-efficient building has a workspace designed for the office staff, and the shop has air conditioning and heated floors. It has a big showroom where equipment can be brought inside for a customer to see in any weather, and featured equipment is on display.
One of the additions Schmidt is most pleased about is the new training room, equipped with technology and screens for small group training. “It’s a crazy, state-of-the-art training room,” Barling says. “It will be a huge benefit.” Staff will offer refresher training for farmers before planting and harvesting seasons. It cuts down on the number of calls from the fields and helps things run smoothly on farms, he says.
Schmidt has been part of the family business since he was a boy, at first helping with the mowing, later with parts and sales and coming back full-time after college. “I always wanted to be part of the family business,” he says. The biggest change since he started is the technology. “We are as much a technology company today as a machinery company,” he says.
The public is invited to tour the new facilities from 2-7 p.m., Aug. 1. Dinner will be served to the first 1,000 attendees beginning at 5 p.m. The country rock band, Brushville, will take the stage for a concert at 7 p.m. “The reason we are doing this is for our neighbors and friends,” Schmidt says. All through the process, he says, community members, people at basketball games, the cashier at Casey’s and others kept asking how the new building was coming along. They’ve all been part of the journey, and he wants to welcome them to see how the new building turned out and thank them for the care and concern. Among the special guests is his grandfather, who will be coming in from Florida. “I think I’ll be most happy to see some of our customers who are far away that I haven’t seen for a while,” Barling says.
When the project began, Schmidt never expected the price of corn to fall by half during construction. “I image if we knew that, we might have done things differently,” he says. But then, maybe not. Central Illinois Ag is in the business for the long haul and the next generation. This is just the next stage in a long history. “I have four boys. I hope we’re here for another 50 years,” Schmidt says.
Creating trends in men’s clothing is keeping the Hart Schaffner & Marx and Hickey Freeman brands prospering. One of those trends is a reaction to the casual dress codes in effect in many offices.
“You’re seeing a trend back to people dressing up again,” W Diamond Group Corp. owner and CEO Doug Williams observes. “You’re seeing more dressing up by the 26- to 40-year-olds, and the 40- to 60-year-olds are following suit.” For W Diamond Group Corp. – manufacturer of Hart Schaffner & Marx and retailer of Hickey Freeman – following suit literally means selling more suits.
“You’re finding in young people there’s a desire for heritage, and our Hart Schaffner & Marx brand being more than 125 years old has that heritage,” Williams asserts. “There is a desire to support their community, so being made in the USA is a positive. The customer sees the quality, and they’re willing to forego multiple purchases of poor-quality products and make an investment in better-quality products.”
Marketing to millennials – consumers born before the turn of the 21st century – differs from selling to baby boomers. “It starts with the product and the styling of the product to make sure it’s relevant to the next generation,” Williams points out. “It’s a combination of social media – which they pay more attention to – working with influencers.” Williams cites the placement of Hart Schaffner & Marx suits on NBC’s hosts covering the recent Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, as being an influencer.
Although the basic elements of men’s suits never change – two- or three-button jackets with side and breast pockets and lapels – those elements are shifting subtly in size and position based on the latest fashions. “The jacket is shortening,” Williams reports. “So where a jacket today is 29 to 31 inches long, it was longer in the past. You saw the move away from pleated trousers several years ago. What you see today is the consumer wearing clothes a little tighter to the body, and this same thing is happening with sportswear.”
W Diamond Group also designs and sources Hickey Freeman sportswear. “We want to give them an entire lifestyle experience and take a larger part of their closet,” Williams explains.
The company establishes rather than follows trends. “We were doing slimmer suits and shorter jackets four years ago,” Williams maintains. “So as it becomes more readily adopted, you establish the trend, and as it gets more adopted, you’re going to have to figure out what the next trend is, and the next one.”
W Diamond Corp. was founded in December 2012 and licensed Hickey Freeman and Hart Schaffner & Marx for 40 years from Authentic Brands Group, which bought the trademarks from HMX Group in an auction after HMX’s bankruptcy. Also in 2012, W Diamond Group bought the Hart Schaffner & Marx plant in Des Plaines, Ill., along with many other apparel industry assets of HMX Group.
“When we partnered with Authentic Brands Group, they had the capital to acquire the trademarks,” Williams explains. “I would never have had enough capital to do both, and they are a great brand management and development company. They are amazing partners and are very helpful in driving the business on a global basis.”
Since acquiring those apparel industry assets, W Diamond Corp. has divested itself of most of them except for the Hart Schaffner & Marx plant, the Hickey Freeman retail store in New York and the ecommerce business of Misook, which is a women’s apparel brand.
The Hickey Freeman suits are manufactured at their original location in Rochester, N.Y., by Samuelson of Canada, which also runs two factory outlet stores in Rochester and Syracuse, N.Y. The Hickey Freeman sportswear that is sold at Hickey Freeman’s only full-price retail store in New York is sourced primarily from European suppliers by W Diamond Group.
Besides the single retail location, Hickey Freeman suits also are sold in nearly 300 department and free-standing clothing stores to which Samuelson of Canada distributes. Hart Schaffner & Marx suits are sold in approximately 400 specialty stores and nearly 400 department stores.
Williams plans a multimillion-dollar expansion in production technology and equipment at the single 250,000-square-foot Hart Schaffner & Marx plant in the next 24 months. “We’re running at full capacity today,” he maintains. “We plan to expand our capacity by another 30 percent. We feel that ‘Made in the USA’ has a real cache that the consumers are responding to.”
The company has just started to develop private-label suit manufacturing, which is approximately 2 percent of the factory’s production. Although the production increase will be made in the same amount of space currently being used in the factory, Williams estimates the labor-intensive methods utilized in suit manufacturing might require hiring another 200 employees.
Williams and his family stepped up to the bat to purchase the Hart Schaffner & Marx and Hickey Freeman plants and save its employees’ jobs. “A huge motivating factor to me personally was to ensure that these companies survived and thrived and these jobs were saved,” Williams emphasizes. “The second factor is it’s a great opportunity for American manufacturing to make money. For so long, everybody says American apparel manufacturing can’t be competitive, and I disagree and am proving that fact. Today, over 600 families in the Chicago area depend on us to be successful, and I take the responsibility very seriously and really focus on ensuring their success.”
Wahl Clipper building new headquarters in Sterling
State incentives help keep project in state
Published: Friday, April 18, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, April 18, 2014 8:56 a.m. CDT
BY PAM EGGEMEIER firstname.lastname@example.org 800-798-4085, ext. 5570
STERLING – Wahl Clipper Corp. will reinvest in Sterling, with the help of a state economic development incentive program targeting businesses that are considering projects in another state.
Wahl announced Thursday it will build a new $8.5 million corporate headquarters building on its Sterling campus. The maker of personal care devices will start construction on the 40,000-square-foot building this spring and wrap up the project before year’s end.
Wahl has promised the state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity that the expansion will create at least five jobs and allow it to retain the 114 workers at corporate headquarters. The company employs nearly 900 in Sterling, and about 2,000 worldwide.
In return for its job creation promise, Wahl qualifies for a tax credit through the state’s Economic Development for a Growing Economy program.
One of the EDGE program requirements is that the company provide documentation about the out-of-state option available to them. Wahl’s documented offer for its headquarters project came from Iowa. The rest of the local operations would have remained in Sterling.
“The company was looking at an alternative site across the river in Bettendorf, Iowa,” DCEO spokesman Dave Roeder said.
Wahl was given a waiver on another program requirement. A company must agree to invest at least $5 million in capital improvements and create a minimum of 25 full-time jobs in Illinois. For a company with 100 or fewer employees, the company must agree to make a capital investment of $1 million and create at least 5 new full-time jobs in Illinois.
Just counting employees at headquarters, Wahl is still 14 over the 100 employee maximum for creating just five jobs. The DCEO decided to provide some wiggle room on the job creation number.
“We did give them a waiver on that requirement, because they were very close to the employee number, and they were far above the investment minimum,” Roeder said.
In addition to the EDGE credit, Wahl will receive an investment tax credit and a sales tax exemption for building in an enterprise zone. The incentives are worth a total of $1.6 million over the next 10 years.
While the incentives played a big role in Wahl’s decision to build the headquarters here, there were other factors at play, the company said.
“It also underscores our belief in the region as a good place to live and do business,” Wahl CEO Greg Wahl said.
The expansion serves two main purposes – to accommodate future growth, and to better showcase a company with a growing global footprint.
“The new facility frees up a great deal of space in our current facilities to allow us to continue to grow and prosper,” Wahl said. “It will also provide a state-of-the-art corporate facility as a showplace to our worldwide customer base.”
State Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-Moline, said he hopes Wahl will be an example of how businesses can benefit from locating in Illinois.
“I am excited that Wahl … is not only staying in Illinois, but expanding its facilities in Sterling, and bringing more jobs to the area,” Jacobs said.
DeForest, Janesville developments among 2013’s top WEDC-supported projects
January 03, 2014 7:00 am KAREN RIVEDAL
An upgrade of a Walgreen Co. facility in DeForest and an expansion of Seneca Foods Corp. in Janesville were among the 10 largest multimillion-dollar projects supported last year with taxpayer assistance through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
The 10 projects totaled more than $700 million in capital investment and were to result in about 4,400 jobs created or retained in the state as a condition of getting assistance, WEDC said in a news release. A total of about $18.19 million in tax credits and $4.2 million in public loans were provided for the projects.
First on the list was Amazon.com’s new Kenosha facility, now under construction and valued at $141.25 million. It’s expected to create 1,100 jobs and can receive up to $7 million in tax credits, according to the agreement between the mass retailer and the WEDC.
In Dane County, the DeForest Walgreen’s project — described as a $41.55 million capital upgrade of a distribution facility for the drug retailing giant — was No. 8 on the list. It was expected to create 115 jobs and retain 1,000, for which the company would receive up to $3.5 million in tax credits, the WEDC said.
No. 5 on the list was the Seneca Foods project in Janesville. The $59.4 million development was expected to create 78 jobs and retain 419 through an expansion of the company’s existing facility and the addition of a new cheese line, WEDC said. The company’s public assistance was in the form of a $1.5 million loan and up to $1.58 million in tax credits.
Other highlights of the list included the second-largest project, a $117 million expansion by Agropur Inc., in Kewaunee County’s Luxemburg. The company received a $1 million loan in exchange for retaining 100 jobs as it expands and renovates its wet whey production facility and builds a cheese production plant.
A $95 million expansion of Green Bay Packaging Inc.’s facility in Ashwaubenon was No. 3 on the list, and involved $1.97 million in tax credits for construction of a 240,000-square-foot building and 281 retained jobs.
Projects in Rhinelander, Mosinee, Waukesha, Sturtevant and Mosinee finished out the list.
The WEDC is charged with leading the state’s economic development efforts, through technical support, financial assistance and other resources to companies, partners and communities aimed at supporting business growth and job creation.
Walgreen Co. will create 500 new jobs in the next three years and invest $75 million
BY SANDRA GUY Business Reporter email@example.com August 3, 2012 2:14AM
Updated: August 3, 2012 2:25AM
“Walgreen Co. will create 500 new jobs in the next three years and invest $75 million to expand and renovate its far-flung offices in a deal that will give the drugstore giant $47 million in state tax credits for retaining 1,500 existing jobs, the company and Gov. Pat Quinn will announce Friday.
The 500 new jobs are corporate positions focusing on Walgreen’s high-growth divisions: online (walgreens.com), pharmacy and health and wellness.
Walgreen employs 5,000 at its Deerfield headquarters and surrounding offices, and houses its corporate workforce in 27 office buildings in Bannockburn, Buffalo Grove, Chicago, Deerfield, Lincolnshire, Mount Prospect, Northbrook and Northlake.
The company will expand and renovate those offices to make it easier for employees to travel among the buildings.
Walgreen has signaled its growth by increasing the use of technology in its stores, letting shoppers download an app to view store maps so they can find products by aisle and section, and partnering with outside developers to add smartphone functions to Walgreens’ in-store photo printing services, for example.”
Enterprise zone would stretch from Bloomington-Normal to Gibson City
Monday, May 7, 2012
GIBSON CITY — Public hearings will be held Monday in Ford and McLean counties for a proposal to expand an enterprise zone from Bloomington-Normal to the One Earth Energy ethanol plant in Gibson City.
The Gibson City facility is the only ethanol plant in Illinois not already included in an enterprise zone, and being included in Bloomington-Normal’s would allow it to take advantage of a variety of tax exemptions, said Ken Springer, senior associate for research and economic data for the Economic Development Council of the Bloomington-Normal Area, which is coordinating the proposal.
One Earth Energy, located in the Jordan Industrial Park, is particularly interested in using a tax exemption that applies to the purchase of natural gas, Springer said. The plant is a “heavy user” of natural gas and hopes to save between $350,000 and $400,000 in state taxes per year with the tax break, Springer said.
“From their perspective, it’s a competitiveness issue, and obviously the cost savings,” Springer said.
Public hearings on the request will take place at 11 a.m. Monday at City Hall in Gibson City and at 4 p.m. at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Normal. At the hearings, the public will be invited to comment on the proposal, and information will be presented about the project, Springer said. Springer said he does not expect any objections.
“From our perspective, it’s a very low-risk proposal,” Springer said, adding that “the tax savings that One Earth Energy would receive would be state taxes, and there would be no local taxes in jeopardy.”
The Gibson City Council, the Ford County Board, the McLean County Board and the city councils of Normal and Bloomington would all need to approve the request, Springer said.
The proposal would amend the Bloomington-Normal enterprise zone so that it would be extended to the plant using a 3-foot-wide strip of public right-of-way, Springer said. The amount of land that would be added to the enterprise zone through the extension would total 0.59 square miles.
By law, the enterprise zone in Bloomington-Normal can include up to 13 square miles, and the zone currently has used about half of that total. Springer, however, noted that the expansion into Ford County would allow for an additional 2 square miles, providing a total of 15 available.
The enterprise zone was created in 1985 and is set to expire in 2015, Springer said, unless legislative efforts are successful to extend the life of enterprise zones in the state.
Because no more enterprise zones can be created in Illinois, the only option is to extend an enterprise zone from a community that already has one, Springer said.
McLean County economic development officials believe the proposal will provide economic benefits for the entire region. Springer noted that the One Earth Energy plant purchases about 9.5 million bushels of McLean County corn per year to produce its ethanol. That translates into about $60 million in income to McLean County farmers annually, based on corn priced at $6.32 per bushel.
Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey and Ford County Board Chairman Rick Bowen said they were supportive of the enterprise zone extension.
“If there’s no cost to any of the (government) entities (involved), why not?” Bowen said. “You’ve got to do what you can to put them on an even playing field with their competitors.”
“Definitely it will be an immediate benefit to One Earth Energy, which I’m all for, and I think there’s other businesses also that can benefit because of that,” Dickey said. “Anything we can do to help our businesses is a good thing, because they provide jobs, and things are kind of tough right now for everybody.”
Dickey said he has contacted Gibson City Council members about Monday’s hearing and has encouraged them to attend. Bowen said he plans to be there, as well.
The possible expansion of an enterprise zone into Gibson City was first made public in December, when Bowen announced at a county board meeting that the plant was interested in possibly having an enterprise zone in Rantoul extended to Gibson City. Since then, Bowen said, company officials “gave me an update that they were looking beyond Rantoul and toward Bloomington.”
Springer said he does not believe Rantoul’s enterprise zone is still being considered for an expansion to the plant.
One Earth Energy general manager Steve Kelly said his company continues to evaluate “if there’s some compatibility between us” and the McLean County enterprise zone, but he otherwise declined to comment on the proposal.
State incentives — which are available in all enterprise zones — include a sales tax exemption on all building materials used in any construction in an enterprise zone, subject to some limitations; and on machinery and equipment purchases if they are greater than a $5 million investment and result in the creation of more than 200 jobs.
There are also possible state utility tax exemptions, investment tax credits, jobs tax credits, income tax deductions and loans available for the creation or retention of jobs.
Hiring at new Granite City coke plant raises questions and hope for laid-off steel workers
In: Granite City
By: Mary Detach Leonard, Beacon Staff
6:37 am on Thu, 06.11.09
Word that SunCoke Energy has started the hiring process for its new coke-making facility that is nearing completion in Granite City could mean little — or everything — to more than 2,000 workers laid off from the idled U.S. Steel plant next door.
While SunCoke’s projected hiring of about 100 workers is good news to the hard-hit local manufacturing industry, the real glimmer of hope — or question — is in the 15-year contractual agreement that has U.S. Steel buying the coke and steam produced at the Gateway Energy & Coke Co. facility, which is slated to begin operation this fall.