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DELAWARE
From Site Selection magazine, January 2024
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Think Ahead to Stay Ahead

DELAWARE
Delaware’s city of Newark snags new expansion investments in leading industries.
Photo courtesy of State of Delaware/Peter Miller

by Alexis Elmore
F

uture predictions within the health care field can send a chill down the spine of both industry professionals and patients around the nation.

The Office of Emerging Therapeutics reported in 2022 that the cost of specialty drugs hitting the market has increased by 280% since the start of the 2000s. These high-cost medications are actively needed and sought out by millions to treat complex medical conditions, including cancer. At the same time that medication availability and need are on the uptick the American Medical Association predicts that the U.S. faces a workforce shortage to the tune of 124,000 physicians over the next 11 years.

Many states and businesses are on the move to craft solutions to avoid falling behind on workforce needs. Delaware is one of them.

When the Biden-Harris Administration and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration announced their 31 Tech Hub designations in October 2023, Delaware was selected to participate in the Greater Philadelphia Region Precision Medicine Tech Hub. This Tech Hub additionally encompasses New Jersey and Pennsylvania, who will work alongside the state to build upon its life sciences assets and focus on R&D within biotechnology, medical technology, genomics and synthetic biology.

“Delaware was included in the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA’s Precision Medicine Tech Hub recently announced by the EDA,” says Delaware Prosperity Partnership Vice President of Business Development Becky Harrington. “Delaware is a health care and life sciences hub and offers a supportive innovation ecosystem and a competitive environment for expanding and new businesses. And our location along the I-95 corridor between Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Princeton and Boston creates an attractive opportunity for evolving companies looking for a cost-effective place to grow their business.”

Given the urgent predictions about state of health care, the time to act begins now.

A One-Stop-Shop

Evernorth Health Services is doing just that. Having operated in New Castle, Delaware, since 2007 through its Accredo specialty pharmacy facility, the company now looks to build a powerhouse to meet the current and future needs of its market.

“Our new facility in Delaware will help us meet the growing demand and need for specialty medications, which have risen by 280% over the past two decades. Evernorth is a leader in specialty pharmacy, dispensing millions of medications to patients and providers every year,” says Evernorth Health Services Pharmacy President Matt Perlberg. “As more complex medications come to market in the years ahead, our expanding location in Delaware, which will house both an Accredo specialty pharmacy and a CuraScript SD distribution center, will enable us to more efficiently and effectively distribute these lifesaving medications to individuals and providers throughout the country, particularly in the Northeast.”

To make this happen, the company has invested more than $89 million to leave behind its former 34,000-sq.-ft. Accredo facility to move just 13 miles away to its new 200,000-sq.-ft. Newark specialty pharmacy and distribution center. A site big enough to encompass the company’s needs was a critical factor in the site selection process, as the company had considered looking outside of the state for this expansion.

“The project came to us confidentially through a national site selector who was tasked with evaluating options for the company’s expanding specialty pharmacy business. The company considered expanding their existing operations in Delaware or to grow in another location,” says Harrington. “Their consultant already knew a lot about Delaware and was equipped with information we needed to help assist the company as they considered their location options.”

Not only did Delaware have a site but grant funding came in handy as well to secure the deal. The Delaware Prosperity Partnership supported the investment with a Jobs Retention Grant, a Capital Expenditure Grant and a matching Training Grant, all of which the company plans to take advantage of.

“Delaware’s support of this expansion will retain a valued employer and further contribute to the state’s economy by creating new jobs and adding new capital investment,” says Harrington.

Evernorth will retain its New Castle team of over 80 pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, warehouse associates, operations staff and others in this expansion. Perlberg says that the company looks forward to deepening its 16-year ties to the community by adding over 100 jobs within these roles over the next few years.

“These employees are dedicated to supporting patients diagnosed with some of the most rare and complex conditions known today, as well as providers who help treat these patients,” says Perlberg. “We anticipate more than doubling the number of Delaware employees at the Newark facility over the next several years.”

Evernorth’s recommitment to the state sends a positive signal to the future of life-saving work that is made possible in the state. 

 

“We anticipate more than doubling the number of Delaware employees at the Newark facility over the next several years.” 

— Matt Perlberg, President, Evernorth Health Services Pharmacy

 

“The fact that Evernorth and Accredo decided to expand their operations and double their size in Delaware confirms the state’s strength in attracting life sciences to the state. This project will add new high-paying jobs and further contribute to Delaware’s life sciences economy and ecosystem,” says Harrington.

Room For More

Newark meets the needs of more than just one industry. In November 2023, Delaware anchor employer DuPont opened the doors to its new $50 million manufacturing facility that will help the company meet growing demand for semiconductor and industrial sectors.

Named the Tralee Park Annex, the new site introduces a fitting layout and space to support new manufacturing equipment and a high-end ISO Class 6 Cleanroom. Here the company will expand its Kalrez® perfluoroelastomer parts capacity, allowing for faster production and more effective sealing for chemical processes and semiconductor chip manufacturing.

“We are thrilled to open this new state-of-the-art facility to support the growth of our customers,” said Brian Ammons, global business director for Kalrez®. “We are committed to partnering with our customers on innovation and pride ourselves on driving operational excellence and delivering supply reliability and consistent superiority in quality performance. The Tralee Park Annex is a prime example of how we are delivering on these core competencies. This facility also advances our sustainability agenda as it integrates a state-of-the-art energy, IT infrastructure and building layout that minimizes energy consumption and maximizes efficiency and productivity.”

The expansion creates 50 new jobs for the region within operations, maintenance, engineering and more. Many of these roles require a background in STEM, which the company is confident in filling having operated in Delaware for more than 220 years. 

Alexis Elmore
Associate Editor of Site Selection magazine

Alexis Elmore

Alexis Elmore joined Conway Data in 2022 as associate editor for Site Selection. A 2021 graduate of the University of Georgia, she studied journalism and communications before moving back to Atlanta to pursue her career. As an editor for Site Selection and contributor to Conway's Custom Content guides, she writes about economic development efforts and corporate growth happening around the globe.

   



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