Cook Medical, a medical device manufacturer, opened its $19 million production plant that will add another 60 jobs at its Canton, Illinois complex.
"We are thrilled to open Cook Polymer Technology Canton, which will provide another 60 jobs to the people of Canton and add a significant economic boost to this small community. At Cook, we have always believed in reinvesting revenues earned here and abroad in new manufacturing facilities that create jobs for people, while ensuring that the Cook organization continues to grow," Kem Hawkins, Cook Medical president said. "Over nearly 50 years, Cook has reinvested more than $1.5 billion dollars in plants across the U.S. and in key facilities overseas that now employ 10,000 people. And we hope circumstances will allow us to continue that tradition."
The new 60,000 sq. ft. Canton facility will manufacture polytetrafluoroethylene tubing used in 16,000 different medical devices that Cook manufactures. The firm said its highly technical, equipment-driven manufacturing plant will capitalize on the existing mechanical and maintenance knowledge of workers in the Canton area. Some of its employees formerly worked for the large International Harvester plant.
Canton Mayor Kevin Meade said he's amazed at the impact of the tubing plant, along with the sister plant Cook opened there two years ago that now employs more than 100 skilled workers making angiographic catheters, has had on his economically challenged community.
"It doesn't take a huge plant with thousands of jobs to make a real impact. Even a few hundred good jobs is enough to help a town the size of Canton turn itself around," Meade said. "Since Cook Canton opened," Meade said, "the local hospital has invested over $40 million in a new clinic and upgrades to their existing facilities. In addition, a number of new retail stores have opened and local businesses have been able to expand. After years of no new housing permits, the city also has experienced a veritable housing boom with a new 42-unit apartment complex being built along with 16 new home construction permits having been issued. "
Ultimately, the two Cook plants, which both were built with future expansion in mind, will employ more than 350 people, the firm said. In addition, parent company Cook Group also has invested more than $15 million in Canton's downtown square, building a new 32-room boutique hotel and buying and improving a shopping mall and other properties.