Hedwin to bring 154 manufacturing jobs to Newark

Hedwin is the maker of the Cubitainer®, a stackable, collapsible lightweight container that is also flexible.
Hedwin is the maker of the Cubitainer®, a stackable, collapsible lightweight container that is also flexible.

By Christi Milligan

Hedwin Division of Zacros America Inc., maker of industrial containers and liners, will relocate its Baltimore-based operations to Newark’s Pencader Corporate Center in a move that will generate 154 local jobs.

The company was awarded a Strategic Fund Performance grant and a Capital Expenditure grant of $703,505 from the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) to offset costs associated with relocating its operations to Delaware.

“Our goal is to partner with the State of Delaware and the community,” said Hedwin’s vice president and COO, Maurice LeCompte. He added that proximity to primary customer Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics and Delaware’s commitment to manufacturing played heavily into the company’s decision to relocate.

Founded in 1946, the company is known for developing the “Winstead Process” for molten sheet thermoforming, used to develop plastic heat sealing as well as multiple lines of packaging products, including the Cubitainer, a collapsible flexible container.

Fujimori Kogyo Co. Ltd. purchased Hedwin last year for a reported $22.2 million.

The company has distributors in 36 companies nationwide, including Siemens, located near Hedwin’s Newark location.

According to LeCompte, Hedwin has outgrown its Baltimore facility, which includes six buildings and a warehouse. LeCompte said he was charged with scouting locations that would allow the company to consolidate its buildings, which are now flanked by residential neighborhoods.

The company reportedly employs about 300 people at its Baltimore facility, but most will not relocate to Delaware, according to LeCompte.

“When we looked at potential sites for Zacros America, Delaware had the best workforce and the right location,” said LeCompte, who said that he spent a lot of time last year meeting with officials from DEDO and the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development to survey the cost of real estate.

He said Hedwin’s hope had been to remain in Maryland, but incentives offered by Delaware drew the company to relocate.

“We weren’t just looking for a loan; we were looking for a partner,” said LeCompte. The 158,000-square-foot Pencader space is under renovation, but at least one line of products will be operational in about a month, he said.

Ten people have already been hired.

“Adding jobs to the manufacturing sector will provide a major boost to, and help to diversify, our economy,” said DEDO Director Alan Levin. “What we really liked about Zacros’ Hedwin division is that they have the desire and the ability for future expansion.

“If and when Hedwin decides to add more jobs, they will be tapping into a workforce that is well-trained and well-prepared. And that’s one of the reasons why they chose Delaware,” Levin said.

LeCompte said the move will cost about $12 million, including manufacturing equipment that will be delivered from Japan. ♦

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