Walgreens to significantly expand franchise in Chicago

The nation's largest drugstore chain recently announced it will open up to a dozen new stores and create about 600 jobs in Chicago.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Walgreens President and CEO Greg Wasson unveiled the "Chicago Hometown Investment Initiative" at a news conference on June 29. Walgreens was founded in the Windy City, hence the name of the initiative.

Half of the new jobs will be created in Chicago neighborhoods, while the other half will be located in the downtown area, the news provider reported. The sites of the new stores were determined by the mayor, who mapped out shopping-starved areas and summoned major retailers to fill the vacancies.

"Fortunately, we are in communities that are, maybe, under-served and don’t have convenient access to fresh food or even medical providers and medical care," Wasson said, quoted by the media outlet. "We can leverage that footprint to expand our fresh food, as you’re seeing here. We can also leverage our pharmacists and nurse practitioners to be able to provide access to health care."

Emanuel has aggressively touted job creation since he took office last month. According to MSNBC, the former White House chief of staff recently said that United Airlines and General Electric, along with Walgreens, have committed to hiring thousands of new employees.