An economic boost is in store for Central Illinois as an Edgar County company plans to add hundreds of jobs.
Pictures showed construction that in around 10 months will just about double the square footage of North American Lighting, and that means in the next couple of years, several hundred jobs will be added to the manufacturer. The current count of employees is 869 and that number is only going up.
"Not everyone has a job, but we got one," said General Manager Kevin Moore.
There are 180 positions to fill in its initial hiring phase. The automotive lighting manufacturer, which makes headlights for brands such as Toyota and Lexus, will hire 15 employees per week until March. That includes an eight week technician training program that guarantees hire after completion.
"All the technicians who complete the program and meet all the competencies, will be guaranteed that position at North American Lighting," explained Josh Bullock, President of Lake Land Community College.
"If you can get to a company that's doubling its size, bringing on new equipment, training the work force, that shows you that's a company that's probably going to be around for a while," Congressman John Shimkus.
And the automotive lighting manufacturer has every intention to stick around.
"Every automobile needs a light source," Moore said. "We have a good product that will last for many, many years."
An uptick in business means a boost to the local economy.
"It's a win-win for all of us," said Mayor Craig Smith.
And it's a plan guaranteed to add light in a struggling economy.
When North American Lighting opened in 2002, about 400 people worked there. The Mayor said that he was excited that the company has exceeded initial employment expectations.
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