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Business leaders say manufacturing is growing in Central Delaware


Economic development officials say Kent County is adding agriculture and manufacturing jobs as the labor market continues to expand.



Kent County Levy Court Economic Development Director James Waddington notes part of that stems from the national trend of buying and eating food produced in your backyard catching on in Central Delaware.


“There is a lot of focus on how to plate local, how to develop local markets for local producers,” Waddington said.

Waddington points to Harrington Raceway and Casino as one of the bigger buyers of local products, though some restaurants also feature them on their menus.


About 5,000 manufacturing jobs still exist in Kent County, with recent expansions at Perdue and Edgewell Personal Care.

Waddington says he thinks the one-time trend of outsourcing production facilities to countries with cheaper labor is diminishing.

“It’s not as enchanting as it once was and certainly having stability in your manufacturing operation can be a critical consideration when you’re looking at that,” he said.

Kraft Foods also added about 30 new jobs with a new Kool Aid production line, though the plant also saw some layoffs when the company merged with Heintz earlier this year.