Grant helps GOEX project move forward

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Jim Leute
Thursday, October 3, 2013

JANESVILLE—Construction is on track for a Janesville company to open a $17 million manufacturing facility next summer that will keep a minimum of 130 employees on the local payroll.

GOEX is building the 175,000-square-foot facility on Highway 14 near Newville Road.

When it's complete, the company plans to move its operation from 2532 Foster Ave, Janesville.

GOEX is an industry leader in extruding resins into custom rigid plastic sheet and roll stock. It has posted double-digit growth in each of the last 10 years but is landlocked at its current plant.

Mark Gottlieb, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, visited the site Thursday to present city officials with a ceremonial check for $650,000, the state's contribution toward the construction of a frontage road along Highway 14 and a rail spur that will help GOEX make and receive shipments via the Union Pacific Railroad.

The state money is in the form of a Transportation Economic Assistance grant, which requires a 50 percent local match that targets economic development.

Earlier this year, the city approved a package for GOEX that includes public contributions of more than $1.5 million. After the state grant is applied, the city's cost for site improvements drops to $891,000.

As part of the agreement, GOEX will be required to retain 130 full-time jobs for the seven years remaining in the life of Tax Increment Financing District 21.

GOEX President Josh Gray said Thursday the company now has 140 employees.

Gottlieb said the TEA grant program is an example of the state working with local communities and their businesses to create and retain jobs.

Since its launch in 1987, the program has contributed more than $93 million to 333 projects, he said, adding that the various projects have created or retained more than 80,000 jobs.

“I want to thank the folks at GOEX for keeping these jobs from leaving Janesville, Rock County and Wisconsin,” Gottlieb said. “These are good-paying jobs that have a great effect on the local and state economy.”

Gray said the rail spur will benefit GOEX, but the improvements at the Highway 14 intersection and the new frontage road will benefit all motorists.

Janesville City Council President Kathy Voskuil said the intersection would become safer with signals and sidewalks.

She also noted that beyond the retained GOEX employees, the project is indirectly responsible for an additional 193 jobs.

“We thank Joe Pregont and Josh Gray for retaining these jobs and expanding here,” she said.

Pregont owns GOEX and Prent Corp., a global leader in custom thermoform packaging with facilities around the world.

Prent is growing, too, and the company on Kennedy Road is nearing completion of a 7,000-square-foot expansion and remodeling of about the same amount of space for administrative offices.

The construction of the new GOEX plant would make its vacated 70,000-square-foot plant available to Prent.

Prent officials have said they likely would use it for warehousing and possibly production.

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