Herff Jones Creates Jobs in Champaign County
Champaign, IL– Herff Jones has announced plans to consolidate various product lines and brand identity at their North Market Streetlocation in Champaign. This project will help to retain local jobs and potentially create additional employment in Champaign County. This announcement came last night whenDonald Agin, Vice President/General Manager, Cap & Gown Division of Herff Jones, spoke in front of the Champaign City Council.
“Herff Jones/Collegiate Cap and Gown has been proud to be part of the Champaign community since 1926. We remain committed to providing life-enriching experiences for our customers, our employees and the communities where we conduct our businesses. We are excited about this opportunity and the ongoing growth opportunities here in Champaign,” Agin said.
This project has been in the works for a few years and with the help of the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation it will finally begin. The EDC had a significant role in bringing the appropriate parties together and identifying the necessary resources to assist the company in this endeavor.
In addition to Agin, the local project team included John Dimit of the Champaign County EDC, Craig Rost of the City of Champaign, Seamus Reilly and Triss Henderson of Parkland College, Al Anderson of Champaign Consortium, Paul Faraci of the State of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Mark Dixon of The Atkins Group, State Senator Mike Frerichs, and U.S. Representative Tim Johnson’s office.
Approximately $50,000 in State ETIP funding will be provided through Parkland College’s “On the Job” training programs to both retrain existing employees and to train new employees. Herff Jones will spend $2 million on building improvements and additional equipment.
Expansion will take place within the current facility; however, additional parking will be needed due to the expected increase in employees. Herff Jones will rent an adjacent parking lot from the City of Champaign for $1 per year as long as Herff Jones employs a minimum of 250 people. If the project is successful, Herff Jones’ Champaign County workforce will grow to over 300 people.
Herff Jones, headquartered in Indianapolis, IN, was founded in 1920. While Herff Jones started out manufacturing class rings, medals and pins, over the years the company has added yearbooks, caps and gowns, graduation announcements, diplomas, frames and educational learning materials to the list of products it manufactures. The company employs approximately 3,100 workers around the country and has been 100% employee owned since 1996.