Companies recognizing the city’s unmatched access to talent and access to the world are adding jobs in Chicago
“Propelled by the North Side and particularly a booming downtown, a key Chicago jobs measure is at its highest level since 9/11,” wrote Greg Hinz in a recent post Crain’s Chicago Business post. Hinz is referring to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) report, Where Workers Work. The report indicates that private sector employment in the central city is highest it has been since 2011.
This past month’s company expansion and relocation announcements are testament to the fact that companies are recognizing the city’s unmatched access to talent and access to the world and adding jobs in Chicago. Below is a recap of the major job growth announcements from the last month:
SC Johnson will move approximately 175 jobs to a new office in Chicago over the next two years. The company, headquartered in Racine, Wisconsin will add new jobs in marketing and sales in order to “infuse the company with an even broader world-class talent base and diversify its business locations.”
“It’s important that we position the company for long-term success,” said Kelly Semrau, Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Affairs, Communication and Sustainability of SC Johnson. “We operate more than ever in a global competitive environment and we have to expand our talent pool to nearby Chicago to remain competitive.”
Oscar Mayer announced that an estimated 250 employees will relocate from Madison, Wisconsin to the new Kraft Heinz co-headquarters at the AON Center, located at 200 East Randolph Street. Earlier this year Kraft Heinz made a long-term commitment to Chicago, signing a 12.5 year lease for five floors (170,000 square feet) at the AON Center. Oscar Mayer was founded in Chicago in 1883; after opening a manufacturing plant in Madison, the company made it its corporate headquarters in 1919.
“Oscar Mayer’s decision to return to Chicago is a reflection of the talent of our workforce, the strength of our world-class transportation networks, and the certainty and confidence we have given businesses that invest in our city,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Oscar Mayer’s move to Chicago adds to our strength as a leading destination for food companies and I look forward to watching them create more jobs for our residents and build a great future here in Chicago.”
Echo Global Logistics Chairman and CEO Douglas R. Waggoner announced the company will more than double its workforce in Chicago, bringing its total number of employees in the city to more than 1,600. The company recently acquired Command Transportation and is relocating more than 550 employees from Skokie to join the existing 800 Chicago-based Echo employees at a single new office. The company also plans to add up to 300 new sales staff, IT programmers and general office staff positions over the next two years.
“It’s fitting that we are celebrating our tenth anniversary by welcoming the Command Transportation team to join us in the great city of Chicago where we were founded,” said Waggoner. “As we know, Chicago is an emerging technology center and provides unparalleled access to talent, expansive transportation options for our employees and a leading cultural scene — all of which matter to our growing employee base.”
Echo anticipates starting the move to an office location in the River North area in the summer of 2016.
SPINS, an information and service provider for natural and specialty products, announced its move into a 22,000 square foot space at 222 W. Hubbard, a LEED-certified office space in Chicago. The company moved its corporate headquarters from Schaumburg, relocating 150 employees with plans to add more than 100 new jobs over the next two years.
“SPINS is at the center of many of today’s hottest growth sectors, including big data, health, sustainability and digital technology. Being located in Chicago provides us with greater access to top talent as we continue to accelerate growth and add new employees and capabilities,” said SPINS LLC Owner & CEO Tony Olson.
“SPINS brings together the food, technology, and health/sustainability sectors, all of which are thriving in Chicago,” said World Business Chicago President & CEO Jeff Malehorn. “Chicago is an ideal location for the next phase of SPINS’ growth and we look forward to continuing to work together in the years to come.”
TmaxSoft, a multinational infrastructure software company headquartered in Seoul , South Korea, announced that its new U.S. headquarters will be located in Chicago. Having matured its technology in multiple Asian markets over the past decade, TmaxSoft will now launch its U.S. operations in Chicago.
“Chicago is central to markets in the U.S. and all of North America, with a rapidly expanding presence in the technology sector,” said Joshua Yulish, CEO and president, TmaxSoft, Inc. “This central location, large technology talent pool and growing stature as an international hub of trade all make it the ideal location from which to expand our U.S. presence as part of the larger global TmaxSoft initiative.”
TmaxSoft’s will create approximately 30 jobs at its new Chicago headquarters office, located at 101 N. Wacker Drive, over the next year.