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State talking to Armstrong World Industries about proposed tile factory

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The Corbett administration is in discussions with Armstrong World Industries Inc. about the Lancaster County-based company's proposed U.S. factory to manufacture flooring tile, but it says it can't describe the nature of those talks.

"We are aware of the project and have been in contact with the company," said Lyndsay Frank, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

She said she did not have additional information about what was being discussed between the state and Armstrong, which recently said it intends to bring some of its luxury flooring tile manufacturing back to the U.S.

Armstrong has 14 flooring factories in the nation, three of them in Pennsylvania, including its Lancaster plant.

Armstrong's stock price has gone up 5 percent since its earnings statement on Monday, according to Google Finance today at noon. The earnings referenced the expanded U.S. flooring manufacturing. Armstrong trades its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol AWI.

It's conceivable the state will offer some kind of assistance to Armstrong to locate its tile factory in Pennsylvania.

Gov. Tom Corbett and DCED have been busy this year announcing economic development assistance to companies around Pennsylvania, including here in Central Pennsylvania. In May, the state provided more than $1.5 million in loans and grants for Edge Rubber to build a warehouse in Franklin County.

In March, DCED Secretary C. Alan Walker visited Volvo Construction Equipment near Shippensburg and offered a $2 million assistance package to help the manufacturer of large vehicles finish its headquarters expansion there.

On Monday, Corbett announced nearly $1.1 million in grants, tax credits and training assistance to Gordon Food Service to build a distribution facility near Pittsburgh.

Editor's note: This story has been modified to correct the spelling of Lyndsay Frank's name.

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