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SKF Group Plans North American Research And Development Facility In Naperville, Illinois

Area Development Online News Desk (08/11/2014)
Swedish-based SKF Group selected Naperville, Illinois, for its new North American research and development facility, which will create 40 full-time jobs within two years and another 40 within four years. The new 130,000-square-foot facility will be built at 1203 Warrenville Road, along the Interstate 88 business corridor, and will house engineers, scientists and administrative staff.

SKF Group is a leading global provider of bearings, seals, lubrication systems and industrial services and consulting covering every major business sector including transportation, paper, mining, oil and gas, food and beverages, machine tool, metals, and aerospace and energy. State officials said the company selected Naperville in order to access the state’s transportation network, highly-educated workforce, culture of entrepreneurship and competitive cost structure.

“One of SKF’s driving forces is to continue to deliver world-leading research and innovation and to develop products which deliver significant energy savings for our customers,” SKF President/CEO Tom Johnstone said. “This newest center supports our growth ambitions for the U.S. and the investments of over $2.5 billion that we have made during the past five years. The Naperville-based R&D center will strengthen our global network of technical centers that support each of our key regions. It provides a central location to some of our most significant U.S. customers, proximity to many local world class research universities and a highly-educated workforce that is critical to our knowledge engineering efforts.”

“SKF Group has a long history of providing quality technology products and services all over the world,” Governor Pat Quinn said. “Illinois is making a comeback and innovative companies like SKF are an important part of it. We are proud SKF has chosen to open this new facility and create jobs for Illinois’ highly-skilled and educated workforce.”

Factoring into the company’s decision was a state incentive package worth an estimated $2.2 million over 10 years. The incentive is primarily a credit against the company’s state income tax liability under the state’s Economic Development for a Growing Economy program.

The package also includes a $20,000 grant for job training. The EDGE program, administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, requires companies to meet agreed-upon targets for job creation or retention and capital investment in order to receive the credits. The agreement with SKF USA requires the company to invest at least $18.6 million at its Naperville location over the next 10 years. While the legal commitment to the state is for a minimum of 80 new jobs within four years, SKF said the facility eventually might have up to 200 employees.

“We are grateful for the trust SKF has placed in the state of Illinois,” DCEO Director Adam Pollet said. “With our investments in our people and infrastructure, we want to make Illinois an easy choice for employers looking to expand their skilled labor force.”

SKF USA Inc. is the United States subsidiary of the SKF Group of Gothenburg, Sweden and is based in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. Illinois is already home to two SKF manufacturing facilities, including one in Elgin since 1960, and the other in Waukegan since 2009. SKF employs about 390 people at the two locations.
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