WASHINGTON, W.Va. - DuPont Washington Works finished the past year with new business developments and an increase in sales.
The DuPont corporation exceeded $31 billion in sales in 2010, up 21 percent from the year before and earnings rose 62 percent.
The Washington Works site produced nearly 700 million pounds of materials in 2010 that was shipped throughout the U.S. and worldwide.
Employees Brent Landers, left, and Dave Dye review plans for steam trap changes at the DuPont Washington Works site.
"Clearly, we had to do things better, faster, smarter and more efficiently in order to build momentum coming into 2011," said Karl Boelter, who became the 15th plant manager of the site in January 2010.
Initiatives at the Washington Works facility this year were designed to capitalize on the advantage of a large manufacturing site.
"Our site took a look at job tasks, and we combined training for all of the business units with similar tasks," said Boelter. "Maybe that sounds simple, but with multiple business units developing over a 60-year history, bringing together the best of operations practices has created efficiencies we haven't seen before."
The staff of the Washington Works site grew in 2010, with the addition of 40 process operators and 15 mechanics. Six technicians and administrative assistants and eight chemists and engineers were also added to the ranks. So far in 2011, 22 new operators and mechanics were hired, bringing the total number of employees to 1,457, not including 250 contractors.
Annual employee and contractor payroll for the site exceeds $115 million. Plans are to continue hiring throughout 2011, said Robin Ollis-Stemple, external affairs officer.
DuPont is a major contributor to the local economy, with $43 million in utility purchases and $110 million in purchases of goods and services in 2009, said Ollis-Stemple.
Employees at the Washington Works site continued to be involved in the community, by serving on the boards of directors for area organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce, the Polymer Alliance Zone and Artsbridge. This year, employees also raised more than $170,000 for local charities, including The United Way, Erickson Field and area volunteer fire departments.
The plant is involved in other community outreach and educational activities, including the "Fun with Science" show, hazardous waste clean-up days, the Ohio River Sweep, and its 27th year in partnership with Parkersburg High School as a Partner In Education.
The Washington Works site has been the major industrial company in the Mid-Ohio Valley for the past 63 years, said Boelter.
"With a little foresight and determination, we plan to continue operating for many, many more," he said.