January 28, 2014

Manufacturing: Answer to Economic Shift Needed in Delaware

On the heels of reports from Moody identifying Delaware as the only state at risk of falling back into recession, First State Manufacturing (FSM) announces its biggest year yet. Eli Valenzuela, Owner and Chairman of FSM, said “if you think about it, we are all manufacturing something. I am humbled by our success and good fortune and love the idea that I can be a contributor to a better life in Delaware for the people I serve everyday”.

Adding to Delaware’s manufacturing success, FSM co-owner, Sher Valenzuela, will be recognized at the STEP Awards dinner and ceremony sponsored by The Manufacturing Institute (National Manufacturing Association) in February in Washington, D.C. Sher is the only woman manufacturer in Delaware to be recognized at the event. The STEP Awards honor women in manufacturing who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers. In addition to her role at FSM, Sher serves on the board of the Delaware Manufacturing Association (DMA) as well as a lead team member for the ACCESS Manufacturing Accelerator, an initiative to equip, connect and train manufacturers and the businesses that support them to grow their businesses.

According to the Manufacturing Jobs for America webpage on Senator Coons’ website, “workers in manufacturing jobs earn 22 percent more in annual pay and benefits than the average worker in other industries, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. Every new manufacturing job we create adds another 1.6 jobs to the local service economy, and for every dollar in manufacturing sales, another $1.34 is added to the economy. Investments in manufacturing have a stronger impact than investments in any other economic sector.” In the Moody report, Moody Analytics Steven Cochrane was quoted as saying “One thing about the Delaware economy is it’s so small. It can be affected by shifts in a single industry or a couple of industries.” First State Manufacturing joins Senator Coons as well as other voices in the state like the Delaware Manufacturing Association (DMA), Delaware Manufacturing Extension Partnership (DEMEP) and the Blue Collar Task Force to offer manufacturing as that industry. Senator Coons is also working on Race to the Shop legislation that will provide funding to States and metropolitan areas to address the manufacturing workforce and skills challenges within their region. Legislation has not yet been introduced and funding not made available but in Delaware through the efforts of the Delaware Workforce Investment Board (DWIB), DMA and DEMEP, plans for these type of initiatives are moving forward.

“Manufacturing is alive and well in Delaware, FSM is living proof and we anticipate 2014 to not disappoint. January earnings already exceed numbers for last January.” stated Dave Hitchens, President, First State Manufacturing.