FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
5/12/2011
Annie Thompson 217-782-7355
Marcelyn Love, DCEO 217-558-1542
Mike Claffey, DCEO 312-814-3957

 Governor Quinn Announces Continental Tires the Americas Investing $224 Million to Expand Illinois Facility

Expansion will Create 444 Jobs; Bring Total Employment to 3,000 Over Next Three Years

MT. VERNON � May 12, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Continental Tires the Americas (CTA) is investing $224 million to expand its North American headquarters and manufacturing facility located in Mt. Vernon. The state is providing a business investment package to leverage the private investment and help create 444 new jobs over the next three years. CTA is benefiting from the expanded Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) tax credit that the Governor signed into law last week, which was a determining factor in its decision to expand in Illinois.

�Creating jobs and encouraging investment in Illinois is strengthening our state�s economic recovery,� said Governor Quinn. �Continental�s decision to invest in Mount Vernon will create hundreds of good jobs and make a lasting impact throughout this region, leading to further private-sector growth and economic development.�

Governor Quinn signed Senate Bill 4 last week that allows qualifying companies to apply their EDGE tax credit against either the company's annual withholding tax liability or their annual corporate income tax liability.

�Continental Tires the Americas is experiencing exponential growth and demand for its tires throughout the region,� said Matthias Schoenberg, CEO of Continental Tires the Americas. �Adding production capacity to meet this demand was essential.  And, the Mt. Vernon employees earned this investment as they continue to prove that they are competitive on a global level.�

Continental�s investment over the next three years will result in 444 new jobs and a significant increase in tire-producing capacity to meet customer demand for passenger and light truck tires. Of the $224 million, $171 million will be directed for new machinery and equipment, and $53 million will be directed toward building and infrastructure. The Mt. Vernon plant capacity will increase by nearly 4 million tires per year.

Employment at the plant has grown by 430 jobs since 2006, bringing the current plant employment to 2,588. The additional 444 new full-time jobs will bring total plant employment to nearly 3,000 in the next three years.
 
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is administering the state�s $22 million business investment package. In addition to the EDGE tax credits, the package consists of Employer Training Investment Program (ETIP) job training funds that will help enhance the skills of the company�s workforce, and a Large Business Development Grant to assist Continental with capital expenses associated with this project. The company is also eligible for benefits from being located in an Enterprise Zone.
 
�Continental has a significant direct employment base in Illinois that relies heavily on the success of this company for their livelihood,� said DCEO Director Warren Ribley. �This assistance reinforces our commitment to this company and helps ensures the nearly 3,000 estimated individuals who are employed through Continental can continue to have good-paying, sustainable employment.�

Illinois continues to see strong signs of economic growth and recovery. Since January 2010 when Illinois employment resumed after the national recession, the state has added 89,500 new net jobs, including nearly 10,000 manufacturing jobs, which leads the Midwest. March marked the 14th straight month of declining unemployment. Illinois ranks first in the Midwest for exports and foreign direct investment.