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Water quality testing firm to invest $3.3M in Newark production space

Charlie Megginson Business, Headlines

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A water quality testing supply company will invest $3.3 million to expand its operations into Newark after receiving $1.25 million in grants from the state.

The LaMotte Company, based in Chestertown, Maryland, will occupy a 79,000 square foot office space and production facility in the Pencader Corporate Center.

The facility will lead to the immediate creation of 50 jobs. The company said in a press release Monday that it expects to employ 100 people at the site within three years.

Positions will include skilled technicians, production line and warehouse workers, administrative positions, engineers and chemists.

Gov. John Carney said the announcement is another example of his administration’s efforts to make Delaware more competitive “so that we can compete and win every day.”

“That means making sure we have the best environment so businesses like LaMotte Company can grow and thrive here in Delaware,” Carney said. “We are excited for this expansion and the new jobs it will bring. This investment shows that Delaware remains in demand for manufacturing and innovative development.”

Company officials said the site’s proximity to the University of Delaware was a key reason for their decision to expand into Newark over other mid-Atlantic locations.

LaMotte plans to collaborate with the university’s College of Engineering and Lerner College of Business to develop an internship and employee pipeline. It also plans to partner with Delaware’s vocational high schools and Delaware Technical Community College to address its needs for technicians and manufacturing personnel.

Founded in Baltimore, Maryland, LaMotte has manufactured specialized pH indicators and other analytical reagents for water-quality analysis worldwide since 1919. 

Today, the company produces analytical reagents, electronic instrumentation, and complete portable test kits for chemical analysis for hundreds of applications including pools and spas; drinking water; industrial water; environmental science education; food and beverage; laundry and sanitation; water and wastewater and aquarium and fish farming industries.

The company successfully requested a performance-based grant of $190,440 and a Delaware Lab Space Grant of almost $1.06 million from the Delaware Strategic Fund. 

The distribution of grants from the Delaware Strategic Fund is dependent on a company meeting commitments as outlined to the Council on Development Finance, which reviewed and approved the request.

LaMotte president and CEO Scott Amsbaugh said the Newark location will prove to be highly valuable for the company given the skilled and educated local workforce as well as the site’s proximity to global shipping hubs.

“This investment is critical in our capacity expansion to meet our customers’ growing demands for LaMotte’s products,” Amsbaugh said. 

The company has been working with the Delaware Prosperity Partnership since June 2021 on its site selection process.

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