For generations, the Chrysler plant in Newark built cars that powered down our nation’s highways. Just down the street, the University of Delaware was building on its campus generation after generation of innovations and innovators to help power our nation’s economy. After the Chrysler plant closed in 2008, the University agreed to move forward and make those former Chrysler acres part of a new Science, Technology and Advanced Research campus. At the same time, Delawareans across the state were pulling together to try and attract a major new employer to that site. While the process was hard, the goal was simple – get people working there again, building again and create along the way hundreds of new, middle class careers.
One employer we pursued was Bloom Energy – an American company that manufactures innovative fuel cells that now help power some of our nation’s most recognizable companies – places like Google, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, eBay, FedEx, Staples, and Walmart. They told us the demand for their energy servers was growing so quickly, they needed to build a new manufacturing hub somewhere on the East Coast – a factory that would put hundreds of people to work to serve a growing roster of customers.
In return, we told them about Delaware’s great workforce, our strong schools, our responsive government and our unshakable commitment to get people back to work. We made clear we wanted those manufacturing jobs – those critical, middle-class careers- to be located here. From Delmarva Power, to our Congressional delegation, from the University of Delaware leadership to legislators from both parties in both chambers, Delawareans came together to help make those jobs more real.
This Monday marks a new chapter in that effort. Bloom leaders and some of those great Delawareans that I mentioned will come together on the University’s STAR campus to break ground on that Bloom Energy factory. We’ll be joined by senior executives from some of Bloom’s new customers who’ll share their excitement at having servers made here in Delaware power their companies around the country.
While we still have several steps to take before that factory opens, Monday is an important next step to create hundreds of new, quality careers here, as we work together to keep Delaware, moving forward.###