Chemical Company to Move 300 Jobs Out of Wayne
Ashland Speciality Ingredients will relocate hundreds of jobs to Bridgewater.
Hundreds of Wayne jobs will be moved out of town due to a chemical manufacturing company relocating its laboratory and office space to Bridgewater.
Ashland Specialty Ingredients, which develops and manufactures chemicals for consumer and commercial products, will relocate most of its 300 workers, or about 60 percent, to a new 200,000 square-foot office in Bridgewater this summer.
Ashland Inc., ASI’s parent company, purchased International Specialty Products on Alps Road for $3.2 billion in August 2011. There was speculation when the transaction was announced that such a move would be made. Ashland’s lease agreement expires this year.
Ashland is the latest business to announce its intention to reduce or eliminate the number of jobs located in town.
Van Peenen’s Dairy closed last September after a judge ordered that the company liquefy its assets to pay creditors. The land the 84-year-old business was on is for sale.
“It’s always a blow to the community when a business leaves,” said Council President Nadine Bello. “As administrators we’ve tried to entice other businesses into town. It just tells us that our infrastructure is outdated. We just have to come into the modern age and offer businesses more incentive to come to Wayne and stay in Wayne.”
Mayor Chris Vergano did not respond to a request for comment.
Gary Rhodes, an Ashland spokesman, said the company notified employees Ashland’s intent to eventually relocate “to a new site that will help establish a strong, independent Ashland business and brand identity separate from the historical presence of ISP operations and ownership.”
Ashland intends to sign a short-term lease for additional office space in North Jersey for the remaining 40 percent of the workers. Rhodes said Ashland is “actively pursuing” several options for the second site, which the company intends to be within a reasonable commute from the current location.
Rhodes would not comment on where Ashland has looked at having the second site located.