Uline Shipping Supplies will move its Waukegan, Ill., headquarters about 20 miles north to Wisconsin, bringing with it about 1,000 jobs, Gov. Jim Doyle said Thursday.
The company, which sells shipping supplies such as cardboard boxes, plastic bags and foam peanuts, plans to move 650 existing jobs and add another 350 jobs to Pleasant Prairie, near Kenosha.
"Uline is a rapidly growing company that is known worldwide for its quality products and I'm delighted to welcome them to Wisconsin," Doyle said in a statement.
Frank Unick, the company's chief financial officer, said it looked at numerous sites in Illinois and Wisconsin and chose Pleasant Prairie because it was large enough, close to the Waukegan distribution center and close to Interstate 94.
"It gives us the opportunity to have significant space to accommodate future growth and to bring people together again who are currently located in a number of different Uline facilities," Unick said.
The new 200,000-square-foot headquarters will house corporate officers, marketing, information technology, merchandising and finance. The company also will build a 1 million-square-foot distribution center. The move will cost $100 million.
The company plans to occupy the site in early 2010, Unick said.
Doyle also announced a financial assistance package worth more than $6 million to assist in the move. It includes an opportunity for Uline to receive up to $1.7 million annually in refundable tax credits if it creates a certain number of jobs that pay more than $30,000 per year.
Uline also is eligible for training funds up to $1.5 million. The state will provide a $1 million grant toward transportation costs, and the Kenosha Area Business Alliance will provide a $2 million forgivable loan to support the project.
In a statement, chief executive officer Dick Uihlein said some of his wife's family lives in Wisconsin and his family had an important role in Milwaukee's history. Dick Uihlein's family started Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co.
The couple founded Uline Shipping Supplies in 1980 in their basement. There are now more than 2,300 employees in Waukegan, Minneapolis, Allentown, Pa., Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, Mexico, and a Toronto office that will open soon.
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