Jobs are moving from Mexico to a Seaford-area site, thanks to a recent acquisition by ILC Dover and work by the state.
The company will bring 115 new jobs to Sussex County from recently acquired Grayling Industries. In the past couple of years, manufacturing jobs have been moving from Mexico and other locations as conditions in the U.S. become more competitive.
Gov. Jack Markell, announced the new jobs in his State of the State Address on Thursday. He said ILC Dover’s decision to move Grayling’s manufacturing operations to Delaware is evidence of the state’s friendliness toward small businesses.
The plant will allow Grayling to move its current production facility in Juarez a city in Mexico that borders El Paso, Texas.
The Graying production line includes Guardian protective packaging for food, chemical, and pharmaceutical dry powder and liquid applications. Grayling also manufactures products for asbestos abatement and remediation work worldwide, including Avail glove bags, D-Con decontamination enclosures, and Control chemicals.
“This brings jobs back to the United States, and there’s no place we’d rather have those jobs than Delaware,” Markell said. “We want Delaware to be the place where this new synergy between ILC and Grayling takes shape and blossoms. As Delaware’s economy continues its steady path to a full recovery, it is companies like ILC Dover that will provide a strong core that we can rely on.”
William Wallach, CEO of ILC Dover, worked together with Markell and Delaware Economic Development Office Director Alan Levin in efforts to move the plant. ILC Dover is owned by Behrman, a private equity firm that participated in the purchase of Grayling.
“We continue to find the state of Delaware very cooperative in their efforts to help the industry grow and prosper. We are excited to have the opportunity to bring jobs back to the United States and the state of Delaware,” Wallach said. “ILC Dover and Grayling Industries will continue to grow as we help our customers and bring innovative products to the market.”
Frederica-based ILC Dover, is best known for making spacesuits for NASA, the airbag system for the Mars Rover and personal protection equipment for military, homeland security and industrial users.
It bought Grayling earlier this year to complement its flexible containment products for the pharmaceutical industry. ILC Dover was in the news recently for developing a product that aims to protect tunnels in New York and other cities from flooding. Grayling’s offices will remain in Alpharetta, Ga.
ILC Dover requested a Strategic Fund Performance Grant of $364,500 for the creation of 115 new full-time positions in the state. The company also requested a Strategic Fund Capital Expenditures Grant for $187,860, or a three percent match on qualified capital expenditures up to and including $6.2 million. The funding is contingent on approval by the Council on Development Finance.
ILC Dover plans to move the first line of products to Delaware in April, when it will hire 35-40 new positions, and complete the move of the other production lines by the end of 2013, when it plans to fill all 115 positions. The company will employ roughly 560 people once the new positions are filled. Levin lauded the company for choosing Sussex County as the new site for Grayling’s production facility.
“They could have gone anywhere to do this, and it shows a real commitment on their part that they are bringing their recently acquired business, and the accompanying jobs, to Delaware,” Levin said. “We were eager to work with them to make this happen. We wanted to secure these jobs for Delaware.”
Sussex County Council President Michael H. Vincent said ILC Dover’s decision to bring good-paying manufacturing jobs to the area will provide a “shot in the arm” for Seaford and western Sussex County.
“As many of us know, the loss of good manufacturing jobs, particularly in the Seaford area, coupled with the economic downturn in recent years, have hit some communities harder than others,” Vincent said. “This announcement helps lay the groundwork for a more diversified and robust economy in the years to come.”