Rauner Touts Location, Skilled Workforce as Reasons for National Firms Location of Distribution Centers

Back in the late 1970’s future Congressman and then-State Rep. John Porter conceived of a commission to consider how Illinois should approach the year 2000.

Ironically, Porter was not appointed to the commission, but I was.

The following press release cites two of the three advantages that the Commission concluded Illinois had:

  • location
  • skilled work force

The third advantage–low taxes–no longer exists.

Here is the press release from Governor Bruce Rauner:

Governor cuts ribbon on new General Mills distribution center

LEED silver certification anticipated for 1.5 million-square-foot Wilmington facility

WILMINGTON (Nov. 7, 2017) — Gov. Bruce Rauner joined area officials at a ribbon cutting today to open a new 1.5 million-square-foot distribution center for General Mills.

The facility, located at the rapidly developing RidgePort Logistics Center in Wilmington, could employ up to 150 people when it is fully operational.

Headquartered in Minneapolis, General Mills is a worldwide company that is home to such well-known brands as Cheerios, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Haagen-Dazs, Annie’s, and Cascadian Farm.

Its new distribution center in Illinois will ship General Mills products to destinations across the U.S.

“Illinois is the nation’s logistics and distribution hub,” Rauner said.

“As a business person, I can see why General Mills has chosen our central location, our unmatched transportation systems and, most important, our pool of highly skilled Illinois workers.

“Seeing this facility open is testimony to our state’s central role in the distribution of goods to every part of the nation.”

“The Wilmington customer service facility will be a key addition and a critical location for the General Mills distribution network,” said Mike Nordstrom, General Mills vice president for Global Workplace Solutions. “From this location, we will deliver top-selling cereals, snacks and other products to customers across America.

“We’re also proud that this facility will continue our company’s strong commitment to treating the world with care, as we anticipate that the building will achieve LEED Silver certification,” Nordstrom said.

“What a tremendous boost this will be for the Will and Grundy county areas both for jobs and the local economies,” said state Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, who invited Gov. Rauner to Wilmington. “Our area has some of the most talented and knowledgeable people in the world when it comes to logistics. I hope we can build off this momentum and other companies see the great things that are happening in the area and choose to locate here as well.”

The new General Mills center is part of the sprawling 2,500-acre RidgePort Logistics Center that is being developed by Elion Partners about 40 miles southwest of Chicago. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is providing $113 million in multimodal improvements involving highway (I-55) and rail infrastructure.

“An additional feature of RidgePort Logistics Center, apart from its infrastructure and logistical location, is servicing the trucking profession,” said Michael Stellino, managing director of development for Elion Partners. “By having a mixed-use logistics park, we are responding to the needs of the truck drivers, employees and tenants of the park such as General Mills.”

Located in Will County, RidgePort Logistics Center is the largest planned, rail-served industrial park in the Chicago market with 30.6 million square feet of potential development. About 5.4 million square feet have been developed to date, and 810,000 additional square feet are under construction.


Rauner Touts Location, Skilled Workforce as Reasons for National Firms Location of Distribution Centers — 7 Comments

  1. General Mills has fallen a very long way from a once trusted brand. Those days are long gone. All of those brands are full of GMO toxins. Why would you want to profit from the slow death of others? Need to clean up the state NOT more of the same old.

  2. General Mills closed a facility in West Chicago, IL.

    It really hurt the city!

  3. Illinois is NOT a right to work state.

    This fact is why more businesses will NOT choose to Illinois as
    a state in which to operate and further, why more businesses are
    leaving this state.

    BTW, what tax deals (breaks) were cut with GM to get them to locate in Illinois ?

  4. Snap On is currently expanding their distribution center in McHenry Co.

  5. Distribution and manufacturing are two different animals.

    Manufacturing requires a skill set unlike distribution which
    is manual labor.

    Skilled manufacturing jobs are careers and more valuable to a state’s economy than
    unskilled labor which is pretty much low wage drone work.

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