New Del. man­u­fac­tur­ing plant could bring lo­cal jobs

Cecil Whig - - BUSINESS - By JA­COB OWENS

jowens@ce­cil­whig.com

— 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

MID­DLE­TOWN, DEL.

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.”

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF DATWYLER

Datwyler Seal­ing So­lu­tion will man­u­fac­ture its rub­ber com­po­nents in clean room con­di­tions, such as those seen here, at its fu­ture Mid­dle­town, Del., plant.

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