IL: Advanced Manufacturer Opens New Waukegan HQ, to Create Jobs | Trade and Industry Development

IL: Advanced Manufacturer Opens New Waukegan HQ, to Create Jobs

Aug 03, 2021
Mighty Hook, an advanced manufacturer of innovative hanging and masking products, joined state and local officials in celebrating the company’s grand opening of its new headquarters in Waukegan, Illinois. Following an extensive search of location opportunities in the Midwest, Mighty Hook purchased a 38,000 sq. ft. facility at 3900 Hawthorn Court in Waukegan. Made possible in part by support from the State of Illinois, the new facility houses administration, manufacturing, storage and distribution functions for the company – and provides capacity for the company to add new positions while paving the way for additional job creation in the future.
“Like many manufacturers, Mighty Hook has seen a surge in product demand in recent years, and particularly during the pandemic. Our company has so many years of experience in the industry because we make it a priority to stay ahead of trends,” said Scott Rempala, president and CEO of Mighty Hook. “It was our goal to keep connected to major infrastructure, maintain incredible talent on the team, and pave the way for future growth opportunities – our team looked no further than Waukegan, Illinois to launch our new headquarters. I want to thank the State of Illinois, Lake County Partners and many others who have supported this investment and our plans to grow in Illinois.”
Founded in Illinois in 1992, Mighty Hook designs and develops metal products and manufactures material handling products to serve heavy duty equipment used in the agricultural, appliance, secondary automotive, electrical enclosure, consumer product and many other manufacturing industries.  Their customers include John Deere, Caterpillar, Case-New Holland, Eaton and Weber-Stephen. 
The new Mighty Hook facility is supported with an EDGE agreement provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). A $1.7 million commitment has been made to grow the facility and lay the groundwork for new full-time roles in production staff.
"The manufacturing industry continues to thrive in Illinois, thanks to the talent, infrastructure, and strong supply chain that gives companies unparalleled access to their customers and keeps them competitive in today’s global market," said DCEO Acting Director Sylvia Garcia. "Under Governor Pritzker's leadership, we're making investments to support manufacturing companies large and small for continued success in today’s economy – including those to expand apprenticeships and provide 21st century workforce training programs to help companies can meet future demands. I want to thank Mighty Hook for its continued commitment to state. We look forward to working alongside the company as it continues to invest and grow in Illinois."
Operations in the new building are underway, with 42 staff located on-site. Mighty Hook in the process of filling 5 new positions, with plans to create additional jobs in the near future.  The company is gearing up to recruit creative employees that are interested in a versatile career in advanced manufacturing, fabrication, CNC wire programing and prototyping; Mighty Hook is establishing a robust training program with partners at IMEC that will help upskill workers who are interested in pursuing this highly sought-out trade.
Last year, Mighty Hook launched a search for a new headquarters due to an expiring lease in Chicago. Ultimately, the Waukegan location provided an appealing facility, convenient layouts, energy efficient lighting, an affordable cost and long-term stability. Conveniently located near several major U.S. highway systems, including I-94, as well as near major airports, the Waukegan location provides access for shipping and moving projects to customers located across Illinois and Wisconsin.
“The City of Waukegan is proud to be a powerful center of advanced manufacturing within Lake County and Illinois,” said Waukegan Mayor Ann Taylor. “We appreciate the opportunity to work with leaders at Mighty Hook and the many partners involved to secure the company’s relocation to Waukegan. Mighty Hook’s choice to locate and invest here will pay off, both for the company and our hardworking residents.”
The success of the project was also collaborative effort between Lake County Partners, DCEO, IMEC, ComEd, and the City of Waukegan. The partners worked together to assemble tailored solutions that met Mighty Hook’s site, incentives, workforce, power and price considerations.
“It has been a delight watching the amazing growth of Mighty Hook over the past 5 years,” said David Boulay, President of Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC). “A critical factor for that growth has been their unrelenting commitment to upskilling the workforce and making sure they are an efficient, intelligent and lean operation.  IMEC is honored to have partnered with Mighty Hook to provide vital training and guidance to innovatively move forward on their journey to excellence.”
With over 548,000 employed and over 18,000 companies statewide, Illinois’ manufacturing sector is a leading driver of the economy. The state has continued to see investment even during the pandemic, with over 40 manufacturing company expansions or relocations announced for Illinois last year alone. This includes significant investment in Lake County’s growing manufacturing footprint, with announcements by Fischer Paper, AZ Polymers and Medline.
“Important wins like this wouldn’t be possible without teamwork,” said Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart. “Lake County has benefited from a proactive approach to economic development that includes support from Lake County Partners, DCEO, ComEd, IMEC and others. I congratulate the City of Waukegan on this great addition to its collection of cutting-edge advanced manufacturers.”
“It’s rewarding to see so many businesses, like Mighty Hook, recognize Lake County’s strengths and make investments in our community,” said Richard Korengold, Senior Managing Director at Mesirow Financial and Chair of the Lake County Partners Board of Governors. “Important investments like this create rewarding career paths, boost the economy and benefit our communities.”
Investments to support manufacturing companies and the supply chain remain top of mind for Governor Pritzker’s administration as the state continues to prioritize making investments in the manufacturing industry that will expand access to jobs, training and maintain Illinois as a top destination for manufacturing in the face of continued innovation and automation of the industry.  This includes the creation of the apprenticeship tax credit to further establish and build out the pipeline of skilled talent in our state to help prepare Illinois for the advances in the manufacturing industry.
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