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May 9, 2005


CHICAGO - Continuing to deliver on his Opportunity Returns pledge to spur economic development in Central Illinois, Gov. Rod Blagojevich today announced an important partnership with Robert’s Sysco Food Service, Inc., a foodservice distribution subsidiary of SYSCO Corporation (NYSE: SYY), which will help the company expand to a new 190,000 square-foot facility in Lincoln and is anticipated to create more than 170 new jobs. 
“Helping companies like SYSCO secure their future is vital to fostering widespread business development and laying the foundation for more economic growth throughout the Central region.  By providing this support for SYSCO, we’re empowering the company to increase its competitiveness and expand its workforce, which means more jobs and job security for workers in the region and a more robust local economy,” Gov. Blagojevich said.
“The success of Robert’s Sysco is a result of our talented and committed associates.  Their excellent performance and efforts to expand our market presence has resulted in a need to construct a replacement facility to accommodate our future growth strategies in central Illinois.  We are pleased to partner with Gov. Rod Blagojevich and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to create new jobs in Illinois,” Robbie Robert, president and chief executive officer of Robert’s Sysco, said.
“Despite fiscal resources being limited, local leaders and DCEO worked together to help SYSCO grow its operations and bring new jobs to the area.  I also want to thank Gov. Blagojevich for his leadership.  The joint effort is the kind of aggressive job creation endeavor that can help this area retain and create new jobs,” State Senator Larry Bomke (R-Springfield) said.
“Investments like these in the region that fuel business expansion and help secure good jobs are so important to the economic vitality of this area.  When it comes to important local projects that really make an economic impact, Gov. Blagojevich continues to show that he will act quickly and aggressively to answer the bell,” State Representative Rich Brauer (R-Springfield) said.
“This is great news for the economy in Central Illinois.  I want to thank Gov. Blagojevich for continuing to partner with companies like SYSCO that are creating good new jobs and growing our economy,” State Representative Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) said.
The new complex is expected to be operational in the summer of 2006 and will include freezer, cooler, dry storage and office space. 
“Gov. Blagojevich’s economic development vision for Illinois is to deliver the state’s resources at the local level so that they can act as a better catalyst of business growth; and, in turn, help create more jobs and a more tangible, positive impact for the local economy.  The investment we are making in SYSCO will help this company compete on a new level and is a fine example of that vision at work,” DCEO Director Jack Lavin said.
Robert’s Sysco Food Service markets and distributes a complete line of food and related products to approximately 750 customers including restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments, business and industry locations and other foodservice operations throughout central Illinois and portions of Indiana, Wisconsin and Missouri.
SYSCO is the largest foodservice marketing and distribution organization in North America.  For calendar year 2004 the company reported sales of $30 billion.  SYSCO provides food and related products and services to approximately 400,000 restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments and other foodservice customers throughout the United States and Canada.  For more information about SYSCO visit www.sysco.com.
Gov. Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns regional economic development strategy is the most aggressive, comprehensive approach to creating jobs in Illinois’ history.  Since a one-size-fits-all approach to economic development just doesn’t work, the Governor has divided the state into 10 regions – each with a regional team that is empowered and expected to rapidly respond to opportunities and challenges.  Opportunity Returns is about tangible, specific actions to make each region more accessible, more marketable, more entrepreneurial and more attractive to businesses.  It is about upgrading the skills of the local workforce, increasing the access to capital, opening new markets, improving infrastructure, and creating and retaining jobs.  Opportunity Returns is about successfully partnering with companies and communities, both large and small, to help all of Illinois reach its economic potential.


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