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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2005

GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES NESTLE USA IS EXPANDING ITS ITASCA OPERATION AND BRINGING NEARLY 100 NEW JOBS TO NORTHEAST ILLINOIS

CHICAGO – Continuing to deliver new jobs to Northeast Illinois, Gov. Rod Blagojevich today announced Nestle USA is expanding its manufacturing operations at the company’s Itasca facility, bringing 90 new jobs and retaining 314 jobs in the Chicago metropolitan area.  The move comes as a result of the state’s nearly $3.9 million investment package through Gov. Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns program that will trigger $10 million in private investment.
 
“Nestle knows the benefits of doing business in Illinois and the value of our workforce.  Illinois is a first-rate place to do business, and it is great to see strong international companies like Nestle expanding more of its operations in our state.  In order to keep our economy moving forward, we will continue investing in companies that invest in Illinois,” said Gov. Blagojevich.
 
The nearly $3.9 million in Opportunity Returns support is administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).  The majority of the support is from Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) tax credits over the next ten years.  EDGE tax credits allow a firm to reduce the costs of doing business in Illinois when compared with similar costs in other states where it could have located its operations and is based on jobs created or retained.  The company will also receive support for infrastructure improvements through the Large Business Development Program (LBDP) and funds from the Employer Training and Investment Program (ETIP) to upgrade the skills of company employees and help increase productivity, reduce costs, improve quality and boost competitiveness.  ETIP grants reimburse companies for up to 50 percent of the cost of training their employees.
 
"Creating jobs in this region is a priority, and I appreciate Gov. Blagojevich's support in bringing these jobs to Itasca.  Nestle is a strong company, producing some of the world's most well known candy, and we can feel good about supporting its operations in our state," said State Representative Roger Jenisch (Glendale Heights-R).
 
“Through Opportunity Returns, Gov. Blagojevich is making strategic investments that are bringing good new jobs to Illinois.  Nestle certainly had other options, but it choose Itasca for this substantial expansion project because everything a company is looking for is found in Illinois – a talented and motivated workforce, tremendous infrastructure and a wonderful quality of life.  Thanks to the Governor’s strong leadership, our broad and diverse economy will continue growing,” DCEO Director Jack Lavin said.
 
Named one of “America’s Most Admired Food Companies” in Fortune magazine for the eighth consecutive year, Nestlé USA provides quality brands and products that bring flavor to life every day.  From nutritious meals with Stouffer’s® Lean Cuisine®, to baking traditions with Nestlé® Toll House®, to advancing life for pets with Purina®, Nestlé USA makes delicious, convenient, and nutritious food and beverage products that enrich the very experience of life itself.  That’s what “Nestlé. Good Food, Good Life” is all about.  Nestlé USA, with 2004 sales of $12.5 billion, includes Nestlé Brands Company, Nestlé Prepared Foods Company, Buitoni North America and Nestlé Purina PetCare Company.  Nestlé USA is part of Nestlé S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland—the world’s largest food company with sales of $69.9 billion.  For product news and information, visit Nestleusa.com or NestleNewsroom.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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