The State of Illinois has issued a statement explaining why Illinois-based company Hoist Liftruck moved its manufacturing operations from Bedford Park, IL to East Chicago, IN, and cites it as a reason for why Illinois urgently needs reforms.
Hoist Liftruck Mfg., Inc., a manufacturer of high-capacity material handling equipment, is moving into an approximately 550,000-square-foot building in East Chicago in order to expand its production of heavy-duty forklifts.
The company, which currently employs more than 300 associates, expects to create hundreds of new jobs in Indiana this year, and up to 500 new jobs by 2022.
Marty Flaska, president and chief executive officer of Hoist Liftruck, founded Forklift Exchange in 1980 from his house in the western suburbs of Chicago. Flaska said in a release issued by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation that “We are excited to partner with East Chicago and the state of Indiana on this project that will be integral to our growth.”
East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland said in the release that they thank the Flaska family and their company for selecting East Chicago to expand its operations.
Meanwhile, Illinois Director of Communications Lance Trover issued a statement about Hoist Liftruck relocating its operations to East Chicago, IN:
“This is further proof of why Governor Rauner’s reforms are needed so we can keep jobs from fleeing Illinois like they have been for years. Unlike Speaker Madigan who believes all is well with Illinois’ job climate, Governor Rauner understands that small business owners need help getting out from under the weight of the politicians in Springfield who refuse to reform our business climate and simply want to raise taxes.”
This statement was issued in response to an article in Crain’s Chicago Business which quotes Flaska as citing the unfriendly business climate in Illinois as the reason for its departure from the state.
Among the things he cites are the high costs related to workers’ compensation issues in Cook County, and the lower taxes for the company and more affordable housing for employees in Indiana. He also cites the critical role that incentives played in the relocation.
The IEDC has offered Hoist Liftrucks Mfg. Inc. up to $8.25 million in performance-based tax credits, along with up to $200,000 in training grants tied to the company’s job creation plans. The company is also getting East Chicago economic development incentives, and additional support for the project from the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority and NIPSCO.
The statement issued by Illinois Director of Communications Lance Trover notes that Illinois couldn’t compete with this package, and adds that Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed significant reforms to Illinois’ workers’ compensation laws that will positively impact Illinois to grow the economy.