Canadian blanket maker moves U.S. operations to Vandalia

Kanata Blanket, a manufacturer of blankets and promotional products in British Columbia, Canada, is moving its U.S. operations to Vandalia.

The new facility, which has already begun operations, is expected to add as many as 40-50 new jobs in the coming year.

“I’m so glad to see yet another company choose Illinois, and we welcome Kanata to Vandalia with open arms,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “This cross-border move serves as further evidence of Illinois’ unmatched strength of resources in nearly every industry. Ours is a state where businesses large and small thrive, and I’m committed to using every tool at my disposal to build an economy that creates jobs and expands access to prosperity – opening up doors for our workforce and making strategic investments in the kind of future our state deserves.”

“We are incredibly enthusiastic about this new venture in Illinois. Our new facility will allow us to service our valued customers and distributors, and help continue to grow the Kanata brand,” said Fred Flegel, owner of Kanata. “We know this community, and with its strong workforce, it is a great place to set up operations. We are happy to be here.”

Central Illinois has long been a hub for manufacturing, as a source of agricultural and industrial machinery, processed foods, automotive equipment, and more for the world for more than a century. Over 70,000 Central Illinois residents work in manufacturing and thousands more rely on the manufacturers throughout the region as economic anchors for their community.

“Kanata’s move is great news for the people of Vandalia and is proof that Illinois remains open for business,” said Erin B. Guthrie, director, Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. “Under Governor Pritzker’s leadership, companies like Kanata continue to choose Illinois to expand or relocate, thanks to the talent of our people, the proximity to 21st century infrastructure and access to a supportive business climate that allows companies to continuously grow and innovate. We welcome Kanata’s new operations in Vandalia that will power well-paying manufacturing jobs for the local community and bring new economic opportunity at a time when it’s needed most.”

“It’s great to see businesses coming to our town,” said Vandalia Mayor Ricky J. Gottman. “Kanata recognizes the potential of our local workforce, and brought its operations here, which tells you something about the hard-working people in our community. Any time a business wants to come to Vandalia, we will welcome them with open arms.”

Amber Daulbaugh, director of economic development for the city, said, “The Kanata facility is a much-needed addition to Vandalia and we are thrilled to be working with the company as it continues to grow.”

The company hosted a grand opening event on Thursday, Oct. 15, with company officials and local leaders at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“I am happy to see South Central Illinois growing and attracting investment,” said state Rep. Blaine Wilhour, R-Vandalia. “Our region has a lot to offer and growing commerce in our area will continue to be important, especially as we make our way through these trying economic times.”

Kanata’s move to Vandalia was supported, in part, with an investment in connection with the Illinois New Markets Development program and the federal New Markets Tax Credit program, which supports small and developing businesses located in underserved areas by making capital funds more easily available and making Illinois more attractive to possible investors.

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