ARCOLA, Ill. (WCIA) — A family business moved into Douglas County in the 1930s. It wasn’t until about the 1980s the business exploded into a household name, employing hundreds of people, shipping products all over the country and securing a very important place in Our Town.
People might not even realize they have this company’s name in their closet. Next time you reach for a broom to sweep the floor or brush to clean the toilet, look at the handle. Is it dark green? Take a closer look. If it says Libman, you should know it was made right here in Central Illinois.
The production floor of the Libman Company is massive; so huge it was quite the workout to talk from one end tot he other. Everywhere you look, technology is at work assembling brooms, toilet brushes, mops and more which ship to stores and homes all across America.
“We’re vertically integrated in our manufacturing which means we make all of our own handles, our own fibers and all of our own injection mold and plastic parts. So, it allows us to control the quality and it also allows us to ship to our customers.”
Andrew Libman is the current president. It’s his job to make sure his name stays association as a trusted brand. At the core of the factory is an emphasis on tradition; not just for products, but the employees making them.
“I’ve been here for 30-some years, so I like it.”
Juan Gauna is the second of three generations of family employment.
“My dad used to be a broommaker here, back in the 60s when he started working here.”
Now, he can call his son a coworker too.
“I like the atmosphere. I like the place that I work here. I enjoy working here, so I’ve enjoyed it so much.”
A family business, employing families, making them feel like this business is a second one.
“I think we provide a great opportunity for a lot of the Hispanic population. A lot of their families work here, multi-generational. And, I think they look at it as like they are part of our family as well.”
You can imagine the company makes a massive footprint and holds major value to Our Town. The Libman Company started in 1896 in Chicago. In the 1930s, it moved to Tuscola because the broom corn was growing here. It made Arcola its permanent home in the 1950s. There are now about 600 employees.