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Box manufacturer closer to building $80M Dover plant

U.S. Corrugated

U.S. Corrugated of Delaware has chosen Dover as the “location of preference” for an $80 million box-manufacturing facility, which could add 159 job to the area.

The company’s plans were presented today to the Council on Development Finance for approval of more than $3 million in performance-based grants from the Delaware Strategic Fund.

The tenor of the release from the Delaware Prosperity Partnership is that the grants are a given, but the release’s headline cautiously said that the company is only “closer” to the decision.

They company plans to break ground in November on the 457,000-square-foot facility on 37.4 acres at 1601 POW-MIA Parkway, the release said. Google Maps shows the address near Puncheon Run and Mayfair Park.

“The proximity to our existing customer base as well as the opportunity to grow customer base, along with proximity to a trained workforce and key equipment manufacturer suppliers, make Central Delaware the ideal place for our facility, particularly given market segments that are primed for new technology and changes,” said Jeff Coleman, U.S. Corrugated’s chief operating officer. 

“Because we’re also interested in becoming a part of the community, the proximity of Dover Air Force Base would give us a compelling opportunity to engage with those who serve our community and our country.”

U.S. Corrugated previously had been approved for a $600,000 grant from the Delaware Transportation Infrastructure Investment Fund for signalization, entrance enhancements and other improvements.

The latest grants included a job performance grant of $450,000 and a capital expenditure grant of up to $2.73 million. 

Coleman said that he and company principal Dennis Mehiel, whose father was a military veteran, recognize the potential provided by nearby location of a military base.

“Manufacturing has long been part of a strong middle class, and this is another win for Delaware and for Kent County,” Gov. John Carney said. “This brings back to the area more of what I call the ‘new old’ jobs that for years have helped Delaware families put food on the table, pay the mortgage and send their kids to college.”

“Manufacturing jobs are the backbone of a sound local economy,” Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen said. “I am very pleased as not only would this bring highly skilled and well-paying jobs to our community, it would help balance our economy as well as utilize existing road and rail facilities.” 

“Central Delaware is the perfect location for an advanced manufacturing facility such as U.S. Corrugated,” Linda Parkowski, executive director of Kent Economic Partnership, said. “With our strong manufacturing base and skilled workforce, we are looking forward to more manufacturers locating to the area.”

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