Graybar, University of Illinois open joint Innovation Lab

May 11, 2017
Graybar and the University of Illinois this month announced the grand opening of the Graybar Innovation Lab at Research Park.
Graybar closes $750 million financing deal
Graybar closes $750 million financing deal

On May 1 in Champaign, Illinois, Graybar and the University of Illinois announced the grand opening of the Graybar Innovation Lab at Research Park. At this facility, Graybar says it "will collaborate with University of Illinois students and faculty to develop industry-leading digital capabilities that strengthen its position in the supply chain."

“Graybar has a long history of innovation, dating back to the original founding of our company,” commented Kathleen M. Mazzarella, Graybar's chairman, president and CEO. “We’re proud to continue that tradition here at Research Park. The Graybar Innovation Lab will accelerate our digital transformation by combining leading-edge technology with fresh ideas from the University of Illinois’ students and faculty. I’m excited to see how this collaboration will drive supply chain innovation and raise the bar for our entire industry.”

The Graybar Innovation Lab at Research Park "also provides a unique opportunity for students to become familiar with Graybar and the wholesale distribution industry, as the innovation lab will provide full- and part-time positions for undergraduate and graduate students," said a press release. “We’re always looking for bright, energetic individuals to join our company,” added Mazzarella. “This will give students a way to explore potential career paths within wholesale distribution.”

The University of Illinois Research Park is home to innovation centers for multinational corporations and publically traded firms including Abbott, ADM, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Caterpillar, Capital One, CME Group, John Deere, State Farm, and Yahoo.

“This is a great first step in our relationship with Graybar but also clearly reinforces our commitment to working with industry partners,” concludes University of Illinois Chancellor Robert J. Jones. “We’re excited to welcome Graybar and its new Innovation Lab. By tapping into the broad diversity of talent here, Graybar will offer University of Illinois students new opportunities that will expand their skills and education in ways that go far beyond the classroom.”

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