Above / ConAgra currently is located along Naperville’s Corporate Corridor with easy access from I-88.


Rep. Grant Wehrli

News reports on the radio this morning need a little clarification. Though ConAgra corporate staff will remain in Naperville until the food giant’s lease is up, the entire Naperville operation providing 400 local jobs is slated to move to Chicago, according the State Representative Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville) earlier today.

In addition, Wehrli said he’d called on the Rauner administration to work with the Naperville community and the Naperville Development Partnership to replace hundreds of local jobs that will be lost when ConAgra relocates all the Naperville jobs to Chicago.

Wehrli said the Naperville-to-Chicago move is part of a larger agreement that will provide ConAgra EDGE tax incentives for relocating their corporate headquarters to Chicago from Naperville and Omaha, Nebraska.

“These incentives are used to mask the poor business climate in Illinois. Without reforming things like workers compensation and unemployment insurance, we are left in the position of having to buy jobs with these unsustainable incentives,” Wehrli said.

“We all want to bring new jobs here from other states; but when the deal, brokered with tax incentives, costs an Illinois community 400 jobs, then it’s a hollow victory. Governor Rauner needs to work equally hard to ‘back fill’ those jobs leaving Naperville. The governor’s office cannot just create a hole and walk away,” said Wehrli.

ConAgra’s Naperville headquarters provides jobs for 400 employees. It’s home to many of the company’s largest brands, including Hunts, Chef Boyardee, Peter Pan, and Hebrew National.


Above / A sign of the times is a reminder that no matter how you look at it, Naperville aims to keep and create jobs.

Corporate leaders announced earlier this week that they are negotiating for office space in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart that will accommodate 700 employees including the relocation of employees from both Naperville and Omaha.

“Shifting hundreds of jobs from one community to another creates winners and losers within our own state. I know the Governor worked hard to bring these jobs to Chicago.  Now, he needs to work equally hard to help us bring jobs back to Naperville,” Wehrli concluded.

Update / October 2, 2015

Editor’s Note / Considering the disappointing September jobs report for the nation that’s all over the news this morning (showing an increase of 142,000 jobs and much less than the 203,000 the market was expecting), we hope readers will offer serious and sensible solutions as well as positive words of wisdom to help create jobs. We’ll post them at the bottom of our story with hopes they get to Springfield and beyond.

What’s more, combined with the fact that the Fed held steady on interest rates two weeks ago, interest rates have moved down again. Banks are having to update all their marketing and advertising to reflect the rates and pull back all the ads they’ve placed.  While that may create work for the folks who design ads and websites, it takes some of the margin out of those of us who previously had the ads placed and ready to go. Replacing the new ads takes time (money).  Oh! The unintended consequences of living in a world where compliance always takes top priority, preventing strategies to grow and provide jobs, the intention of many small independent businesses.

Comments From Facebook

Jim Mabus / ConAgra gets incentive for moving from one Illinois community to another?

Mike Weyhrich / What about Omaha which got totally shafted by a man who decided he didn’t want to live in Omaha, so he tears apart a company that has been part of Omaha for 90 years.