Officials welcome new Staples distribution center

April 19, 1997


Staff Writer

Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening praised the $43 million Staples Inc. distribution center that will employ 700 workers as a triumph of teamwork among county, state and business leaders at a grand opening celebration Friday.

"Working together, this state is indeed a powerful force to behold," Glendening said.

Glendening acknowledged the hundreds of Staples employees at the ceremony.

"That's what it's about - jobs for you so that you can indeed support a family."

Average starting pay is $8 an hour, with some jobs starting at $7.50 or $9.50 an hour, according to company officials.

Someone working 40 hours a week at $7.50 an hour would earn $15,600 a year before taxes.

About 360 people have been hired so far.

Employees work three 12-hour days a week on a rotating schedule so no one has to work every weekend.


Staples Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tom Stemberg said there are three types of government officials: those who make it their business to get in the way, those who get out of the way, and those who pave the way. "You literally paved the way to make it possible to get us here," Stemberg said.

"We've been able to year after year lower the cost of doing business," Stemberg said. "The only way you can continue to lower the cost of doing business year after year is by working smarter," he said.

He said the state-of-the-art distribution center was a perfect example of that.

Stemberg said the company offers its associates good jobs that help them raise families. "You now have a chance to work three days and be back at home with your families," he said.

Mayor Steven T. Sager welcomed the company to Hagerstown. "We're darn proud you're here," he said.

"This is a great day not only for the state of Maryland but for Washington County and Hagerstown," said Washington County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook. "This company has a very bright future and we are very proud for their choosing Washington County."

Glendening said the Staples project was precisely what he wanted to encourage with his "smart growth" plan, "so we can direct growth to industrial parks of this type instead of suburban sprawl."

Glendening said he was taking a number of steps to help make Maryland more competitive to industry, from a 10 percent income-tax cut, to legislation opening up old industrial land for redevelopment, to investing in education.

The Herald-Mail Articles