CHICAGO – April 17, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Lafarge North America is investing approximately $10 million to relocate its U.S. headquarters from Virginia to Illinois. Lafarge, one of the largest cement, aggregate and concrete manufacturers in the world, will create more than 90 jobs in Illinois in the first two years and likely more than 100 jobs over three to four years. By moving its U.S. headquarters to Illinois, Lafarge will gain access to Illinois’ pool of highly-skilled workers, world-class transportation infrastructure and central location. Governor Quinn personally recruited Lafarge and met with its senior leadership during a recent economic trade mission to Europe.
“Illinois is one of the best places to do business in the world,” Governor Quinn said. “Our message to large and small business-owners is simple: We want you in Illinois and we have everything you need to grow your business in our state. Today we welcome Lafarge and tomorrow we look forward to more global corporations choosing Illinois.”
Prior to selecting Illinois for its new U.S. headquarters, Governor Quinn hosted Lafarge at a business investment luncheon with several other European-based companies during his recent economic development trip to Europe in March. The Governor also met one-on-one with senior leadership at Lafarge to pitch Illinois as the best location for its headquarters by highlighting Illinois' world-class transportation infrastructure and highly skilled workforce. The state is also providing a targeted business investment package worth about $6.3 million over 10 years to leverage the company’s private investment. The package will support job training for workers and economic development, and is contingent on the company meeting its investment and jobs numbers.
In 1983, Lafarge North America became a subsidiary of Lafarge SA, one of the world’s largest suppliers of construction materials, and has operated, directly and indirectly, in the United States and Canada. Lafarge North America has grown to become one of the largest cement manufacturers in the United States, and a significant producer of aggregates (including crushed stone, sand and gravel), as well as gypsum wallboard. Since 1987, Lafarge North America's headquarters has been in the Herndon/Reston area of Virginia. The company is investing approximately $10 million to relocate its headquarters to the Chicagoland and is expected to open the headquarters this fall. Lafarge CEO John Stull attended today’s announcement.
“As a leader in the building materials industry, it is important to us to be close to our operations and to our customers to help provide them with sustainable construction solutions. The location around O’Hare and along the I-294 corridor is an ideal area for us because it is central to our U.S. footprint. We also appreciate Illinois’ commitment to other sustainable infrastructure projects, which will bring long-lasting value to your citizens,” said John Stull, CEO for Lafarge North America's U.S. Cement and Aggregate & Concrete operations. “We thank Governor Quinn and the state of Illinois for welcoming us and we look forward to becoming part of the dynamic Chicago business community,” continued Stull.
Lafarge North America in the United States employs approximately 4,500 people, with approximately 300 employed in Illinois. Lafarge is eligible for an Employer Training Investment Program grant to help increase the skills of its workforce and Economic Development for a Growing Economy tax credits, which are based on job credits. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will administer the state’s targeted investment package.
“Lafarge North America’s relocation to Illinois shows that our state has what companies need to grow,” said Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Acting Director David Vaught. “Illinois has one of the largest economies in the world and with companies like Lafarge, we’re going to advance our global competitiveness.”
Under Governor Quinn's leadership, DCEO has worked diligently to identify and aggressively court companies like Lafarge that are looking to relocate and/or expand their North American presence. Illinois ranks first in the Midwest as a destination for foreign investment and has already attracted 1,597 foreign firms with 6,416 locations, which employ 323,362 Illinois residents. The governor will continue to build on this success by playing a key role in marketing Illinois' world-class attributes abroad and personally meeting with companies to recruit them to Illinois.
For more information on why Illinois is the right place for any business, visit www.illinoisbiz.biz.