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Eighty new full-time manufacturing jobs are headed to Macomb by spring of 2013, and Tuesday morning seven shovels broke ground on the site where the NTN-Bower Corporation will spend $100 million on an expansion to house those jobs.
NTN-Bower’s plant expansion, which will be built directly east of its existing plant, is a major investment in Macomb and the surrounding communities.
“I believe the new plant will contribute to the growth and development of both the City of Macomb and the State of Illinois,” Toru Tomiyama, general director of NTN Americas Region, said. “I also believe the new plant will perform an important function for NTN’s growth.”
According to NTN-Bower President Kunio Kamo, the 240,000-square foot expansion will equal about a third of the size of the existing plant. The production lines housed in the new plant will specialize in the manufacture of 4- to 8-inch tapered roller bearings, one of NTN-Bower’s main products, which Kamo said there is an increased demand for.
Macomb Area Economic Development Corporation (MAEDCO) Executive Director Kim Pierce said a $100 million investment in western Illinois doesn’t happen very often.
“It’s been a while,” she said. “The last investment of any enormity was Pella when they did their expansion of their facility here in Macomb back in 2005. At that time it was $36 million. So this is a substantial investment, and a great number of jobs that will be created.”
The effort to secure the expansion took “well over a year,” NTN-Bower’s general production manager, Craig Allen, said. It was first announced in April.
“I think we’re a very good place for people to come to apply for a job and come to work here,” Allen said. “Obviously if we’re investing this kind of money, we plan to stay around for a while.”
The plant expansion is scheduled to be completed by April 2013. NTN-Bower’s existing Macomb plant has manufactured roller bearings since 1965.