Milestone Project Marks Year of Job Creation

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The transfer of the former General Motors plant in Newport to plug-in hybrid electric vehicle start-up Fisker Automotive earlier this week marks a milestone in nearly a year of work by the Markell Administration to improve economic opportunities for Delawareans. Since August 2009, the Delaware Economic Development Office has helped create the potential for 6,158 new jobs in the state.

These efforts have contributed to lowering the unemployment rate in Delaware from the high in February and March of 9.2 percent to 8.5 percent in June

The transfer of the former General Motors plant in Newport to plug-in hybrid electric vehicle start-up Fisker Automotive earlier this week marks a milestone in nearly a year of work by the Markell Administration to improve economic opportunities for Delawareans. Since August 2009, the Delaware Economic Development Office has helped create the potential for 6,158 new jobs in the state.

Fisker purchased the shuttered auto assembly plant with plans to employ 2,495 workers when fully operational. The project is one of many that contributed to significant job creation over the last year. Other projects include the following recent announcements:

  •     PBF Energy has acquired the former Valero refinery in Delaware City and restart operations as early as spring 2011, supporting 600 full-time jobs.
  •     Sallie Mae, the nation’s leading provider of student loans and administrator of college savings plans, will relocate its corporate headquarters from Reston, Va to Delaware, which will add a minimum of 1,500 new jobs to Delaware’s workforce over the next five years.
  •     US LUBES will consolidate its East Coast locations to Delaware and create 30 to 35 new jobs.
  •     The Association of Educational Publishers is relocating its national headquarters from Logan Township, N.J. to Wilmington, bringing 14 new jobs into the city of Wilmington.
  •     Summit Aviation is expanding its full service aviation center and repair facility in Middletown, adding up to 188 new jobs.
  •     Testing Machines Inc., a supplier of laboratory testing instrumentation, is relocating its headquarters and manufacturing operations from Long Island, New York to Delaware, with plans to employ 50 people in New Castle.
  •     Baltimore Aircoil Company, a worldwide manufacturer and marketer of heat transfer and ice thermal storage products, consolidated its operations from Illinois to Delaware, creating 83 new manufacturing jobs in Milford.

“These efforts have contributed to lowering the unemployment rate in Delaware from the high in February and March of 9.2 percent to 8.5 percent in June,” said DEDO Secretary Alan Levin.

Levin marked the milestone occasion by thanking his staff.

“In today’s economy this accomplishment is no easy feat,” said Levin. “For the most part, these are direct hires and do not include indirect and support jobs that will follow. As a taxpayer and citizen of Delaware, I want to thank each of you for the difference you make. It is both an honor and privilege to work with such a professional team.”

The projects are made possible with the Delaware Strategic Fund, the State’s primary funding source to provide loans and grants to businesses for job creation, relocation, expansion and Brownfield redevelopment.

In addition, the establishment of new programs like the http://governor.delaware.gov/docs/BFF_information.pdf Business Finder’s Fee] (BFF) and the Limited Investment for Financial Traction (LIFT) bolsters activities to support job growth and assist small businesses. To date, LIFT has served 43 Delaware companies which has positively impacted the lives of more than 500 employees.

About the Delaware Economic Development Office
The Delaware Economic Development Office is an executive state agency responsible for attracting new investors and businesses to the state, promoting the expansion of existing industry, assisting small and minority-owned businesses, promoting and developing tourism and creating new and improved employment opportunities for all citizens of the State.

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