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Walgreens to add 600 new jobs, expanded food options in Chicago

Walgreens Co. announced its “Chicago Hometown Investment Initiative” Wednesday. The plan will add 600 new jobs, five new stores and 40 expanded food oasis locations in Chicago.

Half of the new jobs will be from an expansion in Walgreen’s downtown office for e-commerce and information technology, the company said in a statement. The other half will be from staffing the five new stores as well as remodeling some of the 142 Walgreens Chicago locations.

Part of the initiative will be expanding the food selections at 11 of the Chicago Walgreens locations. Last year, Walgreens expanded food options at 10 Chicago stores to include fresh fruits and vegetables and frozen meats and fish. The stores, called food oases, will be in the areas designated food deserts. Food deserts are communities in Chicago without a local grocery store or option to buy healthy foods.

The announcement comes a day after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced an additional 300 jobs from Allscripts, a health internet technology company.

“The healthcare, IT space, electronic medical records, is one of the key growth sectors for the country,” said Emanuel in a press conference Wednesday. “Chicago, through both Wallgreens and Allscripts is a leader in this space. I don’t want to just leader. As mayor, I want to dominate that space.”

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