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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 18, 2005

GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES OPPORTUNITY RETURNS INVESTMENT IN UPS TO HELP COMPANY EXPAND OPERATIONS AT ROCKFORD AIRPORT AND BRING 60 NEW JOBS TO THE REGION

CHICAGO – Gov. Rod Blagojevich today announced the awarding of more than $250,000 in Opportunity Returns support for UPS, allowing the package delivery company to construct a 70,000 square foot building adjacent to its existing facility at the Northwest Chicagoland International Airport at Rockford.  The new addition, which will open in the spring of next year, will greatly expand the company’s ability to handle heavy freight and create 60 new jobs in the community.  The air freight hub will operate separately from the existing small package network and, including airport improvements, will cost an estimated $7.4 million.
 
“UPS is the world’s largest package delivery company and the city of Rockford is the firm’s second largest hub in terms of volume.  Together, these two entities have enjoyed a tremendous partnership over the years, which has enhanced the competitiveness of the company and paid real dividends for the people of this community.  By making this investment in UPS’s new heavy freight facility, we are bringing more good jobs to the area, boosting the economic vitality of the entire region, and ensuring this fruitful partnership continues to thrive and prosper for years to come,” Gov. Blagojevich said.
 
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will provide the support for the UPS expansion.  DCEO will make available Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) tax credits based on job creation over a ten-year period.                                                                                         
 
“UPS is accelerating its push into the time-definite air freight business and that requires a new network to offer superior service to our customers,” said Mike Eskew, UPS’s chairman and CEO.  “Our relationship with Illinois and Rockford has flourished over the years as we expanded the network that moves small packages, and we expect the same with the air freight business.  We know what a tremendous business environment we have here.”
 
UPS is the world’s largest package delivery company and a global leader in supply chain services, offering an extensive range of options for synchronizing the movement of goods, information, and funds.  Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.  UPS stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange (UPS) and the company can be found on the Web at UPS.com.
                       
"When companies like UPS decide to grow and expand in Rockford, it is not only a tremendous indication that we're acting as a valuable partner to business, but also that the many competitive strengths of this community are compelling enough to attract and retain some of the world's most successful firms.  Gov. Blagojevich continues to make the kind of investments that are most critical to creating jobs today and tomorrow in communities like ours," said Rockford Mayor Doug Scott.
 
“Gov. Blagojevich and I recognize that in this global economy, companies have more choices than ever when it comes to deciding where to do business.  Our mission is to work tirelessly to provide all the resources that firms like UPS need to compete and thrive so that Illinois emerges from the field as the right choice.  UPS’ announcement that it plans to grow and expand in Rockford is another indication that we’re achieving a great deal of success in that effort,” DCEO Director Jack Lavin said.
 
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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