Written on: April 14th, 2010 in Job Creation
These have not been easy economic times for our state or our nation.
From December of 2008 to November of 2009, we in Delaware were hit particularly hard by three events. Our state’s Chrysler plant closed that December and our General Motors plant closed a few months later. And last November, we were told that Valero would be shutting down its facility in Delaware City.
But recently, we’ve seen what happens when Delawareans come together to solve a problem.
That Chrysler site now belongs to the University of Delaware, which is moving forward with a plant to put people to work on that site to improve our economic future.
Fisker Automotive is buying the old GM plant and expects to employ thousands to manufacture new cars.
And last week, PBF Energy company announced that – in part because of the great teamwork from so many Delawareans – they will be buying the Valero facility, making significant investments in the plant and putting hundreds of people to work.
In addition, from Day One of its refining operations, the plant will be 10% cleaner than its last full year of operations and PBF pledged to make significant reductions in emissions in the years after that. People back to work with less pollution. That sounds like a win.
Just as we did when General Motors closed, as soon as we got word that Valero was closing, we came together and got to work trying to find a new buyer.
We went to the site, met with the workers, and said that we would do everything we could to bring jobs back there despite it being, at best, a very long shot. We also asked Valero to stop its dismantling efforts on-site and keep much of the refinery intact so we could make a more compelling case to potential buyers, which made an important difference.
And when we found a company interested in putting people back to work, we worked together.
As PBF’s Chairman Tom O’Malley said, in all of the transactions he’s done all around the world, he could not remember any transaction where so many were so dedicated to getting something done.
This is what’s best about Delaware. When faced with a challenge, people come together – labor and management, business and government, across industries, across agencies, and across our state to respond quickly to opportunities to help each other.
To restore our state’s promise and economic prosperity, we are focusing the majority of our time and attention on three key issues – the economy, education and making government more efficient – to join with you in moving Delaware forward.
More information available here.