Office of the Mayor-President

For release: IMMEDIATELY

Release Date: 07/30/2007

Baton Rouge Lands Customer Service Center for Staples, Inc.

Business Recruitment Win the Result of New City-Parish/BRAC Partnership;
Staples Bringing 400+ New Jobs, Multi-Million Dollar Investment to Area

Baton Rouge, La. (July 30, 2007) – The Honorable Melvin “Kip” Holden, President of East Baton Rouge Parish and Mayor of the City of Baton Rouge, today announced the successful recruitment of a national customer service center for a leading Fortune 500 company. Staples, the world’s largest office products company, has selected Baton Rouge as the location for an innovative new contact center for its North American Delivery business.

The new “virtual” Staples contact center will support a team of customer service representatives who work entirely from home. The center will provide a training facility for new representatives as well as office space for management and support staff. Staples is recruiting about 60 work-at-home customer service representatives and a variety of management and support positions, including team managers and service trainers, to prepare for the scheduled October opening. Staples plans to have more than 400 contact center jobs in Baton Rouge over the next four years. The new center is located on Highlandia Drive in Baton Rouge.

“This is our first major recruitment of a national company as a result of our economic development initiative for East Baton Rouge Parish in partnership with the Baton Rouge Area Chamber,” Holden said, “but it’s only the beginning of great things to come. This partnership allows us to provide on-going, seamless coordination for business recruitment between the parish and the state which increases our success in attracting quality jobs for Baton Rouge.”

The project, codenamed “Project Star” during the site selection process, represents the latest success for a new business development partnership between the City-Parish and the Greater Baton Rouge Economic Partnership, the 501(c)3 affiliate of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC). Under terms of the partnership, which was formalized in January, BRAC is responsible for conducting national marketing, business recruitment, and business retention and expansion activities for East Baton Rouge Parish and the City of Baton Rouge. The partnership is modeled after successful public/private economic development ventures in other midsize communities like Knoxville, Mobile, Nashville, and Raleigh.

“Baton Rouge is a first-rate location to operate our new contact center, helping provide customer service excellence for our growing delivery businesses” said Joe Doody, president of Staples North American Delivery. “The people of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, the City-Parish, and Louisiana Economic Development have been terrific to work with in making this new facility possible. Staples is a great place to work and we look forward to building our team here with great people from the Baton Rouge area.”

The project was formally announced at a press conference this afternoon at the Camelot Club. Staples Vice President Doug Woodard, Mayor-President Kip Holden, LED Secretary Mike Olivier, and BRAC President/CEO, Stephen Moret were on hand to make the announcement.

Staples’ North American Delivery unit, serving businesses of all sizes, is comprised of the Staples Contract division, Staples Business Delivery, and Quill Corporation.

About Staples
Staples, Inc. invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today is the world's largest office products company. With 74,000 talented associates, the company is committed to making it easy to buy a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2006 sales of $18.2 billion, Staples serves consumers and businesses ranging from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in 22 countries throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. Headquartered outside of Boston, Staples operates more than 1,900 office superstores and also serves its customers through mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses. More information is available at