Walgreens to Build $175-million DC in Conn., Disabled Employees to Compose Up To One-Third Workforce

Walgreen Co. (Deerfield, Ill.), plans to build a new distribution facility in Windsor, Conn. Walgreens signed a letter of intent to purchase a 130-acre site in the New England Tradeport, a 600-acre planned industrial park. Work on the property is expected to begin in late spring, with a planned opening in 2008. The facility will be about 700,000 sq. ft., with the capability for future expansion.

When it opens, the center is expected to serve about 275 stores in New England and New York. Walgreens is investing more than $175 million in the project. More than 200 employees are expected to be hired initially .

"Like the distribution center we'll open next year in Anderson, S.C., our goal for this facility is to have one-third of the workforce made up of disabled employees working side-by-side with other team members," said Randy Lewis, Walgreens senior vice president of distribution and logistics. "We're doing this because it's the right thing to do. Seventy percent of adults with disabilities--and 95% of people with autism - will never be offered a job. I believe we can, and will, make a difference for many of them."

Special features of the facility that will allow for the employment of disabled employees include fully adjustable workstations and redesigned, easier-to-use computer screens. The distribution center also will be equipped with automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS), along with sophisticated sorting and high storage rack systems.

Walgreen Co., the nation's largest drugstore chain, reported fiscal 2005 sales of $42.2 billion. The company operates 5,080 stores in 45 states and Puerto Rico.

Source: Walgreen Co.

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