EDGAR COUNTY, Ill. (WTHI) - New opportunities for folks to find work are coming to Paris, Illinois.
The United States of America gets a bad reputation for not manufacturing a lot of our own products. As it turns out, right in our own backyard at North American Lighting, they're looking to do just that. The company is expanding and adding more jobs right here in the Wabash Valley.
Wednesday was the expansion ground breaking ceremony for North American Lighting. Roughly 55,000 square feet will be added to the current factory.
NAL President, Kirk Gadberry, says the plant has a long history in the area, and this isn't the first time it's gone through some growing pains.
Gadberry says, "It’s very exciting for us to be able to expand the Paris location. We made the initial investment in Paris in 2002 and so since that time we've expanded at least three times, this is a fourth major expansion. So we're very excited to be a part of the Paris community and grow in the Paris community. And, it's very exciting to me personally to be a part of that."
One groundbreaking attendee that stuck out from the crowd was Congressman John Shimkus. He says college isn't for everyone, and that's okay.
Shimkus says there are still plenty of jobs in Illinois for those choosing not to go that route.
Shimkus says, "These are the messages we need to tell our kids. And, they may decide to seek higher education later on. But, there is a need and a desire for people who are willing to show up on time, do a full 8 to 10 hour work-day, and go home, and stay clean."
Company officials say the rain has pushed the actual start date of the project back. They hope to start moving dirt in the next few weeks.
NAL hopes to finish this project by December of 2018. At that point, they will have 50 more jobs they need to fill. They also say they have some positions they need to fill right now.
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