Grainger, supplier of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) products, opened a one-million-square-foot central stocking distribution center in Minooka, Ill. The facility was designed to help the company deliver products same-day or next-day to its customers nationwide.
This LEED certified platinum-rated distribution center includes a 2,200 square-foot solar wall as well as energy efficient lighting with motion sensors to help reduce energy consumption. The facility also features electric automobile charger stations and a recycling program to collect cardboard and shrink wrap from operations.
With the addition of this distribution center, Grainger now operates 15 LEED certified facilities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. These facilities, on average, reduce energy costs by 30 percent, water usage by 35 to 50 percent and overall waste by as much as 90 percent, the company reports. It adds that in 2012, the company’s U.S. distribution centers recycled 303 tons of cardboard and 22 tons of plastic wrap per facility for a total recycling rate of 72 percent.
The Minooka facility has approximately 360 employees. Paige Robbins, vice president of North American Supply Chain with Grainger, said the talent pool is one of the main reasons the company selected Minooka, and it is investing in further talent development. Each year, two Joliet Junior College students have the opportunity to earn financial assistance as part of the Grainger Tools for Tomorrow scholarship program. Upon graduation, students receive a customized Westward toolkit, which includes specialized professional tools for the student’s skilled trade area of expertise.
In celebration of the Minooka Distribution Center grand opening, Grainger awarded Joliet Junior College with a check for $10,000 to benefit scholarships for students pursuing degrees in the industrial trades.