Illinois is awarding about $7 million in Opportunity Returns support for Schneider National, enabling the company to invest in a new, state-of the-art operating center at the Gateway Commerce Center in Edwardsville, Ill., and to create at least 440 new jobs over the next two years. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jack Lavin celebrated the official grand opening of the facility Tuesday, July 18, with company, state and local officials in Edwardsville.
“Schneider National is one of the largest transportation and logistics companies in the world and will be a tremendous asset to Southwest Illinois,” says Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich. “The decision to locate its new operating center in Madison County means more than 440 new jobs. It also means a strengthened and invigorated transportation and logistics industry that will help us attract more companies and continue expanding our economy over the near and long term. By investing in companies that are investing in Illinois, and not raising taxes, we are encouraging innovation and putting more and more people to work.”
Schneider National’s operating center will provide company drivers and owner-operators with an array of amenities, including showers, Internet access and other services, such as equipment maintenance and fuel. Services will be available 24 hours per day, and the new operating center also will offer office space for training and recruiting. On average, 150 drivers per day will come through the facility.
“We are seeing an increase in demand for transportation services in the region and are pleased with Governor Blagojevich’s support of our efforts to bring new jobs to the area and invigorate the local economy,” says Todd Jadin, senior vice president of operations at Green Bay, Wis.-based Schneider National. “With the largest customer base in the industry, Schneider expects that new and experienced drivers will join our team and benefit from leading-edge technology, superior training and rewarding career options. We’re proud to add Edwardsville to our network of operating centers nationwide.”
The business investment package comes from the Illinois DCEO, which will provide Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) corporate income tax credits over 10 years based on job creation; a Large Business Development Program grant for infrastructure improvements; Employer Training Investment Program (ETIP) job training funds that will help enhance the skills of its work force; as well as additional financial benefits, such as sales tax exemptions and tax credits for job creation, resulting from the company’s location within an Enterprise Zone.
Jadin indicated that Schneider National’s investment in the area will begin immediately with a weekend event to hire hundreds of professional truck drivers from the area. On Saturday, July 22, the company will host a career fair at the operating center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to begin its hiring efforts. At the event, Schneider plans to hire experienced and inexperienced drivers for regional and over-the-road positions, and will continue to accept inquiries and applications via its online job site, www.schneiderjobs.com, or by calling 800-447-7433.