New Del. manufacturing plant could bring local jobs
— A new manufacturing plant in Delaware could spell future job opportunities for county residents, especially those below the C&D Canal.
Datwyler Sealing Solution, a Swiss manufacturer of health care, civil engineering, automotive and consumer good sealants, announced Monday that it will invest about $102 million in a new Middletown production facility that will manufacture rubber components for medical needles.
The facility, to be located on about 15.5 acres between the Amazon distribution center and the Johnson Controls plant off U. S. Route 301, is expected to create about 120 jobs once it is fully operational in the next decade. Production is anticipated to begin as early as the first half of 2018.
On Monday night, the Middletown Town Council received an update on the project, which until this week was known as “Project Eagle” as officials on both sides awaited approval from Datwyler Sealing Solution’s board of directors. The town still needs to pass final approval on the plan for the plant, but Datwyler officials expect to break ground by the end of the year.
According to The News Journal, company officials told the town that they passed over locations in Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, North Carolina and the West Coast in order to locate in Middletown
due to its “proximity to its customer base and a skilled workforce.”
Potential Cecil County employees may be a good fit for production jobs at the Datwyler plant, which will be similar to the Terumo Medical manufacturing plant in Elkton. High standards for cleanliness and automation will make the Middletown plant a state- of- the- art production facility, officials reported.
For Cecilton Mayor Joe Zang, whose town lies less than a 15- minute drive away from the proposed plant, the announce- ment was “tremendous news.”
“Jobs are what make the world go round, because without them we cannot buy or boost the economy,” he said. “Any jobs are a plus and it also shows confidence in our region for a manufacturer to spend that kind of money.”
While he was excited for the nearby job growth, Zang said he also wished such projects would cross the state line and enter Cecil County more often.
“It’s phenomenal news for our neighbors in New Castle County, but I’d also like to see that $100 million invested here,” he said. “But I’ll take what I can get.”
Zang, who has often promoted Cecilton as a rural bedroom community for those who work in the more sprawling Middletown-Odessa-Townsend area, said he would definitely look to capitalize on the new nearby employment opportunities. He said that he believes many choose to live in Maryland, and specifically Cecil County, for its rural, small- town feel.
“When the (Route 301) bypass is done, you’re going to be able to hop on it and be in downtown Wilmington, Del., in 20 to 25 minutes and Philadelphia in another 20 to 30 minutes,” he said. “It really opens up a tremendous travel artery.”
Datwyler Sealing Solution will manufacture its rubber components in clean room conditions, such as those seen here, at its future Middletown, Del., plant.