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August 26, 2005

The New Headquarters Will Mean More Than 1,500 Illinois Jobs

CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announce today that OfficeMax, a leading provider of industrial products, office supplies and business-to-business office solutions, is consolidating its corporate headquarters in Illinois, bringing 700 new jobs to the state.  As part of his comprehensive economic development strategy, Opportunity Returns, Gov. Blagojevich is providing an approximately $20 million investment package that is leading to the creation and retention of more than 1,500 jobs.  The company has operated a retail headquarters in Shaker Heights, OH in addition to its corporate headquarters in Itasca, IL since the company completed the acquisition of OfficeMax, Inc. in December 2003.  OfficeMax expects to finalize the selection of a Chicago-area site for its consolidated headquarters by the end of September 2005.
“OfficeMax is a leader in its industry, and this is another strong example of why Illinois is a leader in attracting more and more opportunities and jobs for our working families across the state.  By being pro-active and ensuring that businesses have all the tools they need to compete and thrive, we’re creating an inviting business climate that is continuing to attract and to keep companies like OfficeMax in Illinois.  We are investing in companies that invest in Illinois because that keeps our economy growing and creating good jobs,” Gov. Blagojevich said.
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is administering the investment package, which includes Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) corporate income tax credits over the next ten years based on job creation numbers; a Large Business Development Program (LBDP) grant; and Employer Training Investment Program (ETIP) job training funds that will help enhance the skills of its workforce.
“There are three resources essential to the success of any business: access to markets, access to capital and access to a world-class workforce.  Illinois’ strategic location provides ideal access to important markets, but Gov. Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns strategy is proving to be enormously successful because it is making critical investments to ensure that access to capital and a high-caliber workforce are also abundant. 
OfficeMax’s decision to bring hundreds of new jobs to Illinois is another welcome sign that this strategy is one that is working for our economy,” DCEO Director Jack Lavin said.
OfficeMax(R) Incorporated is a leader in both business-to-business office product solutions and retail office products.  OfficeMax delivers an unparalleled customer experience -- in service, in product, in time savings, and in value -- through a relentless focus on its customers.  The company provides office supplies and paper, print and document services, technology products and solutions, and furniture to large, medium and small businesses and consumers.  OfficeMax customers are served by more than 40,000 associates through direct sales, catalogs, Internet and nearly 1,000 superstores.  OfficeMax trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol OMX.  To find the nearest OfficeMax, call 1-877-OFFICEMAX or more information can be found at http://www.officemax.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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