FSM Celebrates Expansion, Oct 18


fsm1By Terry Rogers

On Tuesday, October 18 at 1:30 PM, First State Manufacturing will hold an open house as well as a ribbon cutting to celebrate their new Amtrak Distribution Center. According to the company, the distribution center has doubled their operational facility space. The event will be attended by Governor Jack Markell as well as U.S. Senators Chris Coons and Tom Carper.

“The Amtrak Distribution Center is where Amtrak has consolidated the inventory from 17 separate warehouses throughout the country under one roof to serve the entire Amtrak fleet which serves almost 85,000 passengers on a daily basis,” Lori Tovcimak-Speed of First State Manufacturing’s Marketing and Partner Relations Department. “To put it in very simple terms, the Distribution Center is basically Amtrak’s Amazon. The addition of the Distribution Center has increased the visibility of a downstate Delaware manufacturer of sewn goods across the international stage while bringing a 30 percent increase in jobs to the greater Milford area in every facet of the operation.” The Distribution Center is located in the same facility that First State Manufacturing has occupied for the past five years.

Ms. Speed said that the city has provided the company with a diverse workforce and a friendly environment that allows small business to grow and develop. Mayor Bryan Shupe said that the City was excited to see the expansion at First State Manufacturing.

“We are excited to see First State Manufacturing continue to grow in Milford and expand the opportunity for manufacturing jobs to Delawareans,” Mayor Shupe said. “The partnership that was created between First State Manufacturing and the City of Milford in an effort to allow FSM the ability to expand their workforce and develop new local jobs quickly, shows how the private and public sector can work together to serve their local community. We are looking forward to working alongside FSM as they continue to achieve success and champion the importance of investing in and growing the manufacturing industry in Delaware.

First State Manufacturing faced challenges when they were first awarded the contract from AMTRAK and Washington Metro Transit Authority. The company developed a strategic plan for growth with an effort to increase the Milford workforce. As expansion was proving difficult under the same roof, FSM partnered with the City of Milford to develop a solution that would increase jobs in Milford and benefit the company by creating additional production space at their current site.

On the current site, FSM had no room for expansion, although they owned a small parcel of land that was being used by Milford Little League for many years. The company and the City entered into an agreement where FSM would transfer ownership of the ballpark lands to the City in exchange for a portion of property in the City of Milford Business Park. FSM purchased the remainder of the industrial park property with a plan to build their corporate offices on that land in order to further expand their manufacturing business.

“It has been a busy year here in the heart of Milford,” Ms. Speed said. “We are looking forward to sharing our progress over the past twelve months. In addition to the ribbon cutting, we will be sharing other milestones that have occurred. To any businesses who are considering expanding in or locating in Milford, we say ‘if you can dream it, you can do it.’ We also recommend patronizing our local business neighbors whenever you can and treat them well.”

Recently First State Manufacturing announced that President and Chief Executive Officer, Eli Valenzuela was named the 2016 Hispanic Vetrepreneur of the Year by the National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA). NaVOBA was established as a nationwide organization dedicated to creating opportunities for all of America’s veteran-owned businesses. Vetrepreneur magazine is the only national publication in the country dedicated exclusively to covering the veteran-owned business movement which is 3 million members strong. Mr. Valenzuela is featured in the September 2016 issue of Vetrepreneur Magazine.

“I am truly honored to be selected for this recognition,” said Mr. Valenzuela. “To be chosen from among so many wonderful and successful Hispanic veterans is a blessing. It is a testament to how hard our team works every day to keep our business growing and our team working.”

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