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Gov. Pritzker & MicroLink Devices Announce Manufacturing Expansion in Niles as Part of REV Illinois

Press Release - Thursday, August 24, 2023

NILES - Governor JB Pritzker and MicroLink Devices today announced a new Reimagining Energy and Vehicles in Illinois (REV Illinois) agreement for the company's $9.5 million facility expansion in Niles. The expansion will enable the company to grow its design and manufacturing operations for the production of state-of-the-art solar cells and solar sheets, with a new state-of-the-art testing and assembly lab.

"Here in the Land of Lincoln, we're leading the clean energy revolution—combatting the effects of the climate crisis and investing in businesses that share our eco-conscious values," said Governor JB Pritzker. "As we continue to revolutionize manufacturing efficiency across the state through our REV Illinois Program, my administration is devoted to supporting the development and expansion of successful facilities like MicroLink Devices in Niles. This funding for the production of green technology materials is another promising stride towards reaching our ambitious goal of 100% clean energy by 2050—creating a healthier, more sustainable Illinois."

Bolstered by a REV Illinois incentive package, MicroLink plans to invest $9.5 million and create 9 new jobs while retaining 54 jobs. The expansion paves the way for increased testing and solar cell and solar sheet production in Illinois.

"The expansion of our Niles facility greatly helps us increase and mature our production manufacturing capacity to meet current and future market demand for solar powered aircraft and next generation satellites," said MicroLink Devices CEO Dr. Noren Pan "These critical high-tech platforms provide support for national security missions, life-saving disaster relief and recovery missions, surveillance, and communications."

"I'm proud that Illinois continues to display what's possible for a clean energy economy," said U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). "With this new partnership and expansion, Illinoisans will benefit from more jobs and ultimately, a greener future. I look forward to continuing to support this very important work."

"Investments in REV Illinois are investments in a green future that will have a profound impact for generations to come," said DCEO Director Kristin Richards. "MicroLink Devices has been fueling Illinois' clean energy economy for decades, and their expansion in Niles will allow them to increase their capacity to manufacture state-of-the-art solar cells and solar sheets for a variety of uses."

Headquartered in Niles, MicroLink Devices has operated in Illinois for more than two decades, specializing in the design and manufacturing of critical component material used in cellular phones and other wireless devices, and the design and manufacturing of solar cells and solar sheets for a variety of applications, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) such as satellites, spacecraft, and terrestrial collectors.

"The expansion of the MicroLink facility in Niles is a perfect example of what good can come from investing in local manufacturers. Not only will MicroLink expand its manufacturing operations, but it will also grow its solar design capabilities" said Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. "I was proud to vote for President Joe Biden's CHIPS and Science Act to help bolster domestic manufacturing and create good-paying American jobs. American manufacturing has always been a vibrant thread in the fabric of our nation's history, and we must continue to provide the necessary resources to advance our country even further."

MicroLink is receiving a REV incentive for its expansion that creates new lab and testing space for its solar cell and solar sheet production operations. Solar cells and solar sheets power instruments such as satellites and spacecraft by harnessing the power of the sun.

"I've been a strong advocate of REV Illinois since day one, and I helped champion the bill in the legislature to invest in our great state while driving the clean energy economy," said Sen. Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford). "Momentum is growing as another REV deal comes to fruition - paving the way for continued progress in the clean energy ecosystem."

"Supporting MicroLink Devices' commitment to creating solar cells and solar sheets is critical to bolstering the clean energy economy," said Sen. Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago). "Fighting for a sustainable future can't be done alone - the State continues to invest in the clean energy jobs of the future through REV Illinois."

REV Illinois is designed to bolster Illinois manufacturing—already a top destination for electric vehicle manufacturing in the U.S.—and grow the clean energy ecosystem. REV Illinois offers competitive incentives to expand or locate in Illinois for companies that manufacture EVs, parts or components for EVs and other clean energy sectors, such as solar. Illinois recently expanded REV to include smaller manufacturers, increased the value of the credit for companies locating in underserved communities, and doubled the length of benefits.

"Seeing a home-grown company like MicroLink Devices continue to expand in Illinois after more than 20 years should be an inspiration to businesses based in Illinois and those looking to invest in the state," said Rep. Michael Kelly (D-Chicago). "This REV investment will have a positive impact on the local economy while creating new jobs for Illinois families."

"The General Assembly has been devoting itself to creating incentives so that the next generation of manufacturing comes and stays in Illinois. I was proud to have sponsored the REV Illinois Act which will attract long term good paying manufacturing jobs to Illinois," said Rep. Dave Vella (D-Rockford). "Illinois is open for business. We have the hardest working and best trained workers in the country. This new investment is only the beginning of a brighter future."

Companies interested in learning more about REV benefits can visit MicroLink is the 4th recipient of a REV incentive package; details of the agreement can be found here.

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