Here we grow again

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Paris celebrated another milestone this past week with the official groundbreaking for the newest expansion of North American Lighting.

The $25 million expansion will mean an additional 50 good paying jobs and benefits for anyone looking for employment.

NAL is now Edgar County’s largest employer with 1,300 area residents reporting to the plant each day for the three shifts and an additional  400 persons working in the North American headquarters located just north of the plant.

In a day and age when many small towns — even big cities particularly in Illinois — are decrying the loss of industry, Paris is prospering. That is not good luck but hard work put in by the members of  PEDCO — the Paris Economic Development Corporation under the leadership of Bob Colvin. It is through their hard work and partnerships with the City of Paris that NAL came to call Paris home.

And while NAL continues to grow, our other local industries including Simonton Windows, GSI, Doncaster and Cadillac Products continue to employ our family, friends and neighbors.

It’s just not enough to attract industry to call Paris and Edgar Couty home. It takes work by city and PEDCO officials — and state officials — to keep the industries here.

That means regular meetings with industry managers and corporate representatives to make sure they are receiving the support they need.

Also important is something the Paris Mayor Craig Smith and the Paris City Council has been emphasizing in recent years: Improving the lifestyle of the community. Thanks to work by local citizens, the parks have expanded to include a water playground as well as an all-abilities playground. 

Our new high school is providing not only opportunities for our students but providing cultural and vocational training.

Congratulations to everyone who continues to work to provide our community with employment opportunties. Thank you for caring about our hometown.