CHICAGO – Continuing to deliver on his promise to create new, good-paying jobs throughout the Chicagoland area, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced almost $1 million in Opportunity Returns support for the Pabst Brewing Company to relocate its corporate headquarters to suburban Woodridge and create 31 new jobs. The business investment package comes as a part of Opportunity Returns, the Governor’s comprehensive economic development strategy to create jobs and build the economy in Northeast Illinois.
“With such strong Midwest roots, it is only natural that Pabst wants to call Illinois home. But business decisions aren’t made because of nostalgia. Pabst understands that the best way to build its business is by moving to a state that encourages investment. By not raising taxes and working with unique and innovative companies, we are creating new and better jobs,” Gov. Blagojevich said
Pabst Brewing Company was founded in 1844 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin by Jacob Best and his four sons and has been a leader in the brewing industry ever since. The company first expanded into Chicago in 1854, when Jacob’s son, Philip, opened a sales office downtown. Pabst, which is currently headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, will move its operations to Woodridge to be closer to large distributors and customers, while taking advantage of improved transportation access and a diverse and talented labor pool. The company is making an almost $2.5 million investment to lease the facility in Woodridge, which will become the center of Pabst’s corporate operations and house a majority of the executive staff. Today, Pabst sells more than 40 brands of malt beverages and, in total sales volume, is the third largest beer company in Illinois. Pabst is a privately held company owned by the Kalmanovitz Charitable Trust.
“The Midwest has always been home for Pabst Brewing Company, so we are excited to be re-establishing roots in Chicago and Illinois, where we plan to be for years to come. I thank Gov. Blagojevich and his team for facilitating this move and for the critical support to bring us here,” said Kevin Kotecki, CEO of Pabst Brewing Company.
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is administering the business investment package. It includes Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) corporate income tax credits over the next ten years based on job creation, and Employer Training Investment Program (ETIP) job training funds that will help enhance the skills of its workforce.
Site Selection Magazine, one of the nation’s premier economic development publications, ranked the Chicagoland area as the top metro region in attracting new and expanded corporate facilities in 2005, with the state ranked third in that category. The entire state claimed 510 new projects in 2005, trailing only Texas and Ohio, and the combined metro area of the city of Chicago/Naperville/Joliet ranked number one in new and expanded corporate facilities with 389 projects, outperforming Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Atlanta, Cincinnati, New York, Cleveland and Minneapolis.
“Gov. Blagojevich and I are committed to making the kinds of investments that will help businesses locate and expand in Illinois and continue creating more quality jobs throughout the state. By being pro-active and targeting our resources at the local level, we’re building an extremely competitive business environment where companies can put more people to work and grow our economy. We’re excited to be partnering with Pabst and look forward to its success in the region, which will mean better economic opportunities for our hardworking men and women,” 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.