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June 2, 1999

State Effort Lures Sprint PCS and 1,200 New Jobs To Will County

BOLINGBROOK -- Governor George H. Ryan announced today that Sprint PCS will locate its new Customer Care Center in Bolingbrook, creating 1,200 new high-tech jobs.

The 105,000-square-foot facility, located at 245 Cross Roads Parkway, is expected to become one of the top 10 employers in Will County.

"Sprint PCS considered several states in its search for the right site for this high-technology customer care center," said Ryan, who personally recruited Sprint Chairman and CEO William Esrey to bring the project to Illinois.

Sprint PCS, a 100 percent digital nationwide PCS wireless carrier, plans to invest about $17 million in the new customer care center, including about $8 million in machinery, equipment and computers. The new center will handle new customer accounts, customer inquiries, account changes, service questions and other customer-related activities.

"The Chicagoland area is not only a great place to locate our newest Customer Care Center, but also an area that we treasure highly as a part of the Sprint PCS nationwide wireless network," said Keith Paglusch, senior vice president of operations for Sprint PCS. "We look forward to the day when the center opens and when area residents not only begin to assist our valued customers but also serve as important ambassadors of Sprint PCS."

To help Sprint PCS locate the new facility, the state will provide grants from the Industrial Training Program to help train new employees in the use of high-tech computer equipment that will be used at the new customer care center. The ITP program is administered by the state Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, which led the state and local effort to land the call center.

"This new call center is a prototype for the kind of high-tech employers that we're working to bring to Illinois," said DCCA Director Pam McDonough. "Sprint PCS is a forward-looking company with a bright future. These new jobs will provide new opportunity for hundreds of families in the Southwest suburbs and will stimulate a positive ripple through the area's economy for years to come."

In addition to the ITP grants, State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka has pledged to provide low-interest financing to cover the company's costs of locating in Will County.

"As the State's banker, I have made economic development one of my top priorities," Treasurer Topinka said. "Working together with Governor Ryan on projects like this will illustrate to other companies the values of expanding, locating, and staying in Illinois."

Finally, the state will add new turn lanes and traffic signals on Illinois Route 53 near the facility to help keep local traffic moving and the state will cover 50 percent of the cost of expanding the local road serving the facility's parking lots.

The Sprint PCS project won early support from the Will County Board, which agreed in April to offer the company a five-year property tax abatement that is expected to total $34,000.

Bolingbrook Mayor Roger C. Claar praised the cooperation among state and local agencies to secure the new customer care center. "Clearly, the citizens of Bolingbrook should be proud that we were selected as the location of this high technology call center, " Mayor Claar said. "I am delighted at the cooperation of all the agencies involved at the State level and particularly the support of the Will County Board and Jim Fairchild of the Will County Center for Economic Development. This clearly shows the citizenry that governments do work together for the benefit of all."

The Sprint PCS Customer Care Center is expected to be fully operational in October. Sprint PCS, with headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, also operates customer care centers in Fort Worth, Texas; Honolulu, Hawaii; Rio Rancho, New Mexico; Irvine, California; Herndon, Virginia, and Charlotte, North Carolina.


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