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Milford Beacon
  • Local companies add 450 positions to Milford's job market

  • Two local Milford companies - Sitel and Perdue - are bringing 450 jobs to the city this year, with the opportunity for both entry-level and management positions.
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  • Two companies are collectively brining 450 new jobs to Milford this year, including both entry-level and management positions.
    Sitel, a customer service call center on North Dupont Boulevard, has begun accepting applications for 100 new employees, according to U.S. Sen. Tom Carper’s office. However, officials with Sitel did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
    Meanwhile, Perdue Foods says it recently added 350 new jobs to its Milford plant on Rehoboth Boulevard, the single largest job expansion at the 19-year-old facility in the last decade, according to Director of Operations Dean Walston.
    The 350 jobs include 340 entry-level positions with a minimum salary of $32,700 and 10 management positions with salaries that top out at $84,000.
    The Milford Perdue plant now has 1,450 employees in Milford.
    Walston credited the facility’s recent turn to organic processing, after the company’s 2011 purchase of Coleman Natural Foods, as the reason for last year’s $18 million, 10,000-square-foot addition at the Milford facility, as well as the expansion of its job force.
    “We want to be poised at this facility to grow with the customer,” he said, noting that the chicken market is calling for more products, especially organic chickens.
    Currently, the Milford plant processes about 200,000 chickens per day.
    As a result of its investment in the Milford location, Perdue was recently awarded up to $1.3 million in grants from the Delaware Economic Development Authority, including a $700,000 grant for job creation, as well as an additional capital expenditure grant up to $600,000 to reimburse organic processing expansion and equipment purchases.
    The grants will be fully awarded if Perdue can prove it has hired 350 new employees and completed its expansion by Sept. 30.
    Walston said all 350 jobs have already been filled, although the facility is still accepting applications to fill any positions that become open. Since the beginning of 2014, orientation classes have welcomed 20 to 25 new hires every week, he said.
    “We are committed to the facility and to the City of Milford and to Delaware, in general,” he said. “It’s exciting as a facility to be supporting Perdue initiatives to offer organic, antibiotic-free, veggie products to our customers. By participating in a segment of the business that is unique, it allows us to continue to provide steady jobs, steady income, for the associates.”
    Jeff Stone of the Delaware Department of Economic Development said Perdue is not just important to Milford and Delaware, but also to the chicken industry, since the company is responsible for 55 percent of the organic chicken market.
    “It’s a really good project that’s going to have long-term implications for Perdue, for Delaware and certainly for Milford,” he said.
    Page 2 of 2 - While the majority of jobs created at Perdue are entry-level, Milford Mayor Bryan Shupe said the presence of job growth in the city is what matters most.
    “Job growth in our community is very important to the overall health of the local economy,” he said. “These jobs will give individuals the opportunity to work hard, collect a paycheck and provide for their families.”

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