On May 9, DowDuPont leaders announced their decision to double manufacturing capacity in Newark, Delaware, the latest investment in continuing their company’s 200-year manufacturing tradition in the state. Newark already boasts a DowDuPont facility employing approximately 200 people, but production in the current facility was reaching capacity. To expand operations, DowDuPont is investing $45 million in a new manufacturing facility through 2020. The new location, located about two miles from the existing facility, will employ at least the same number as the current facility with room for further job growth “based on need.”
Through these changes, doubling the DowDuPont capabilities in Newark will offer new opportunities to area manufacturers. The average salary of a Dow employee is $88,000 per year, and the company also provides many benefits including retirement, vacations, and stock purchase plans. This is a boon to manufacturers in a city where the median household income is just over $53,000 per year. With the new facility, the manufacturer will be able to maintain current jobs and provide such opportunities for employment in Newark for years to come.
These job and facility investments make DowDuPont’s decision to expand in Newark, Delaware, a major victory for the region. In addition to offering new opportunities to current employees in the new facility, the company will be investing in advanced manufacturing technologies to produce Kalrez, a sealing material designed to withstand high temperatures. The material is used “in the semiconductor, electronics and industrial markets” and, due to aforementioned business growth, the new facility will allow DowDuPont to keep up with demand.
In addition, the changes will allow DowDuPont to move forward with corporate business initiatives. The former Dow and DuPont merged in 2017, but the move is just temporary. With the investment in Newark, Kalrez will become part of the company’s Transportation and Advanced Polymers division. It will fall under the new DuPont branch when the corporation divides into its three new companies in 2019.
Part of the reason for DowDuPont’s continued and future investment in Newark manufacturing is due to earlier state and county initiatives. Delaware made a commitment in 2016 to offer companies incentives to invest and grow in the state. Legislators passed the Delaware Competes Act, reforming the state tax code and encouraging job growth. In the same year, they also passed the Commitment to Innovation Act, which expanded on research and design credits and offered further incentives aimed at improving job development and retention. New Castle County, home to Newark, also added a $7.5 million contribution in addition to $9.6 million from the state to persuade DowDuPont to remain in the area in 2016. The former of these investments, payable over five years, means it will continue from the initial announcement in 2016 through 2021.
These incentives helped to ecourage DowDuPont to keep employees in Newark and, more recently, expand operations. Keeping manufacturing jobs in the U.S., especially locally, shows the dedication federal, state, and local officials have to supporting Newark and the manufacturers who live and work there. In addition, they promote Delaware as a promising place for manufacturing professionals to live and grow.