More new jobs are coming to Cedar City, following Goer Manufacturing Co.'s announcement this week of the purchase of a 216,000-square-foot plant from Hallmark Marketing Corp., which is currently employing 30 people.

Goer Manufacturing, based in South Carolina, initially plans to employ 125 workers by January and will in turn lease a portion of the plant back to Hallmark, which will continue its present operation.A delegation consisting of Goer officials, Gov. Norm Bangerter and executives of Utah Power & Light Co. and Pacific Power visited Cedar City to make the announcement of the manufacturer's plan to open a western regional operation.

Ernest Goer, president of the company that makes wood retail fixtures and showcases, said during official announcement ceremonies, "Our corporation has opened many new facilities in different parts of the country but never with the reception and fanfare as we have seen here in Cedar City and in Utah."

Goer was referring to a singing welcome by students of Cedar City South Elementary and young Paiute dancers who entertained the delegation upon its arrival at the plant.

Goer said his company is excited about the skilled labor force, together with the competitive cost factor associated with the state of Utah. He indicated a potential for more than the 125 employees at the plant soon. He said the company had been examining a site in Oregon when introduced to the possibility of locating in Hallmark's building.

Goer's father founded the company in 1944 and originally manufactured small wooden toys, but it soon began to manufacture custom store fixtures. Today its clients include K mart, Sears, J.C. Penney, Montgomery Ward and many others.

The company was officially welcomed by Bangerter. He said the move by Goer is important coming on the heels of the announcement by PEPCON to relocate west of Cedar City.

"These kinds of announcements are one of the best indicators to me that Utah's economy is looking up, and truly it is looking up," he said. "We have the lowest unemployment rate in the state of Utah since 1979."

Local officials worked hand-in-hand with UP&L and Pacific Power to persuade the new company to come to southern Utah, as city government and the utility work to broaden the economic base in Utah.