In the seemingly constant drumbeat of news regarding a lethargic economy, all positive developments are welcome so when it was announced Friday Walgreens would be adding a sizable number of jobs near its Deerfield home base, there were smiles all around.
Through a deal with the state laden with tax incentives, Walgreens will add 500 jobs throughout the drug store giant’s local headquarters and other surrounding communities. These will be corporate jobs promised to focus on Walgreen’s online activities as well as pharmacy, health and wellness services.
Specifically, the money is being allocated to be used to retrofit office buildings over the company’s 27 building campus to make it easier for employees to get to one place to another.
“Walgreens has deep roots in Illinois and is an important part of the region’s flourishing health care hub,” Governor Pat Quinn said in a statement. “This expansion will create good paying jobs, attract additional investment to the area and help fuel our economic recovery.”
“We are aware that Walgreens has been expanding in Deerfield and we have encouraged them to keep up the expansion,” Deerfield Mayor Harriet Rosenthal said.
This announcement is another avenue by which Walgreens, which employs over 5,000 people in Deerfield, can say they are active locally supporting the community, which is understood by many who would know.
“Walgreens has always participated in our local celebrations in our downtown as well, providing man power, donation of goods and active work on committees,” Deerfield Bannockburn Riverwoods Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Victoria Street said.
Walgreens has a seat on the Chamber board. “They believe in our communities and are always willing to lend a hand to the business and residential communities when called upon,” Street said.
The 500 jobs are expected to be phased in over three years and will add $75 million into the economy if the state’s projections are accurate. Quinn and his staff are using tax credits that have been used in the past to keep local companies in place.
“These are common economic development tools that are used to attract new investment in the state,” said Marcelyn Love, a spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, said. “Nearly all other states use these tools. Our competition in not just Indiana and or Wisconsin, it is China and Japan.”
Additional in-store hiring is being planned according to the state as well. How will the grant specifically help Deerfield and other municipalities, including Northbrook, Buffalo Grove, Lincolnshire, Bannockburn, Mt. Prospect, Northlake and Chicago?
“The biggest impact we will see is having those 500 additional jobs and the extra $75 million being pumped in the economy,” Love said.