An IKO shingle plant in Edgemoor overcame age and size barriers over the past couple of decades.
But time ran out early this year. The building products manufacturer sent a WARN notice notifying the state Department of Labor that 67 employees will lose their jobs this year.
The notice is required when companies idle 50 or more employees due to plant shutdowns, major layoffs, or ownership changes.
Derek Fee, a spokesman for the family-owned company headquartered in Canada, said the decision to close the plant was difficult but came after other options that included buying adjacent land did not work out.
Fee confirmed the residential roofing shingle plant was no longer profitable due to its small size and a supply chain for materials that are now located in the center of the country. Moreover, IKO is a vertically integrated company that produces materials used in its plants.
The Edgemoor site, near Wilmington – part of the company’s expansion into the U.S. – survived a decade and a half longer than a couple of other sites. Fee credited the quality of the Delaware workforce for keeping the Edgemoor site in operation.
One option, acquiring adjacent land at the shuttered DuPont/Chemours Edgemoor titanium site, was taken off the table when the State of Delaware acquired the property for use as a container port.
Demolition has taken place, and permitting is underway for the port along the Delaware River. According to backers of the project, the expansion of the privately managed Port of Wilmington could add hundreds of blue-collar jobs.
Fee said the Canada-based company would retain an administrative office for its U.S. operations near the Edgemoor site.
The plant is currently operating, with decommissioning and site clean-up taking place this year. There are no plans to sell the site. Further information on IKO is available at www.iko.com.
Below is a listing of Delaware WARN notices since January 2020. Some notices include temporary layoffs due to Covid-19 restrictions. The notices are aimed at aiding workers who might be eligible for state and federal retraining funds.