Sunroc closes Delaware plant

SPECIAL TO CONTRACTOR DOVER, DEL. Newspapers here reported in late April that Sunroc Corp., a manufacturer of water coolers, would close its Dover plant June 30 to move its operations to Mexico. The plant closing is expected to mean the loss of jobs for 124 employees, according to stories in the Dover Post, The News Journal and the Delaware State News. The company had announced March 1 that it would

SPECIAL TO CONTRACTOR

DOVER, DEL. — Newspapers here reported in late April that Sunroc Corp., a manufacturer of water coolers, would close its Dover plant June 30 to move its operations to Mexico.

The plant closing is expected to mean the loss of jobs for 124 employees, according to stories in the Dover Post, The News Journal and the Delaware State News. The company had announced March 1 that it would lay off almost 70 employees at the end of April because Sunroc had lost a water cooler reconditioning contract, the Dover Post reported.

The newspaper quoted a statement from Columbus, Ohio-based Oasis Corp., which purchased Sunroc two years ago.

"This difficult decision was made due to economic reasons generated by intense competition in the marketplace from offshore competitors and the need to lower overall costs," the statement said. "We regret this decision had to be made, however the company believes that it is necessary in order to protect the long term viability of the organization."

Quoting company officials, the News-Journal reported that Sunroc planned to move its manufacturing operations to Mexico. The newspaper also reported that Sunroc had received $663,000 in financial help from the Delaware Economic Development Office in the last decade.

Sunroc apparently has fulfilled its obligations for the funds and won't have to repay the state, the newspaper reported. The company, however, may have to repay the state some of the $72,000 it received as a worker-training grant.

Less than two years ago, Sunroc reported annual sales in excess of $50 million, the Dover Post article said. The company, which was founded in 1922 in Pennsylvania, moved its headquarters to Dover in 1995.

The 250,000-sq.-ft. plant opened at that time and once employed as many as 300 people, according to the Delaware State News.