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Editorial: By moving here, retailer banks on area’s workforce

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Last week Greenwood got some truly beautiful news. A cosmetics retailer plans to open a distribution center in the city that will add more than 500 jobs over the next five years.

ULTA Beauty of Bolingbrook, Ill., is spending $51.6 million to lease and buy equipment for a more than 670,000-square-foot distribution center in the Southpoint Business Park. The facility, which will supply hair care products, perfumes and cosmetics to 400 retail stores and fulfill online orders, will be the city’s largest single-tenant building.

ULTA has its own line of beauty products but also sells Clinique and other makeup brands at its 675 stores, including four in the Indianapolis area.

The Greenwood facility on Graham Road will be the company’s fourth and largest distribution center, joining facilities in Illinois, Pennsylvania and Arizona.

The company will hire about 530 full-time employees within the next five years to work in the warehouse. ULTA plans to begin hiring warehouse associates, material handlers, warehouse clerks and human resource professionals, as well as managerial positions and a distribution center director, for the Greenwood location this summer, according to a news release from the Indiana Economic Development Corp.

Greenwood officials are offering the company a 10-year tax break. The state offered ULTA up to $3 million in tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans, the release said.

Greenwood’s proximity to Indianapolis and the potential employees the area offers, as well as financial incentives from the city, attracted ULTA to the area, said Derek Hornsby, ULTA senior vice president of supply chain. The company committed this week to locating in Greenwood.

The city has long been a focus for logistics operations because of the presence of Interstate 65 and, in turn, relatively easy access to other interstates and Indianapolis International Airport. Planned improvements for I-65 north to Interstate 465 will enhance that.

But good roads alone won’t guarantee an area’s success. Companies need to be confident they can hire the needed workers to successfully operate an enterprise. It appears ULTA Beauty has that confidence.

Hornsby said the company hopes construction will start within the next two weeks, be completed by early fall and would then start distributing beauty products from the facility in April or May of 2015.

Last week’s announcement was exciting news for Greenwood. But the fact that the company can reasonably expect to find more than 500 qualified workers in this area is a testament to the quality of Johnson County’s workforce.

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