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September 29, 2005

The New Headquarters Will Mean 1,500 Jobs in Chicagoland Area

NAPERVILLE – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that OfficeMax, a leading provider of industrial products, office supplies and business-to-business office solutions, has chosen Naperville as its new corporate headquarters, bringing 600 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 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.  Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jack Lavin joined company, state and local officials for the official announcement today in Naperville. 
“We have a very simple philosophy here in Illinois to continue growing our economy and creating more good jobs.  By investing in companies that invest in Illinois, we are creating a business environment that is ensuring that companies, such as OfficeMax, have all the tools they need to compete and thrive.  Illinois’ greatest asset is our people, and many successful companies are recognizing that fact by making significant private investments across the state.  By forging these public-private partnerships, we are providing more and more opportunities for our hardworking men and women to get ahead,” 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 and retention numbers; a Large Business Development Program (LBDP) grant; Employer Training Investment Program (ETIP) job training funds that will help enhance the skills of its workforce; and additional financial benefits, such as sales and utility tax exemptions and investment tax credits for job creation resulting from the company being certified as a High Impact Business.          
"OfficeMax appreciates the dedicated efforts that Gov. Blagojevich has put forth to make the relocation of our headquarters a success," said Sam Duncan, chairman and CEO of OfficeMax.  "We look forward to establishing our Naperville-based headquarters over the coming months and to recruiting the hundreds of associates we will need to fully staff our headquarters team."
“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 the Chicagoland area 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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