Gov. Markell visits Milford’s First State Manufacturing

MILFORD — First State Manufacturing founders Eli and Sher Valenzuela have won so many awards that Small Business Administration representatives joked they were running out of ways to honor the couple.

Governor Jack Markell (left) toured First State Manufacturing last week. (The Chronicle/Jeff Mitchell)

Governor Jack Markell (left) toured First State Manufacturing last week. (The Chronicle/Jeff Mitchell)

Wednesday afternoon with Delaware Governor Jack Markell and Economic Director Bernice Whaley in attendance, Mr. and Ms. Valenzuela were presented a framed photo in honor of being named the SBA Delaware and Region 3 8-A Graduate of the Year. The gathering was also to celebrate First State Manufacturing’s new contract with Amtrak.

The presentation followed a brief tour of the 75,000 square foot Milford facility given to Gov. Markell, Ms. Whaley and multiple other attendees including state representatives Harvey Kenton, R-Milford, and Dave Wilson, R-Lincoln.

First State Manufacturing produces different types of upholstery and counts Amtrak and Dover Air Force Base amongst its many clients. It has increased revenue 75 percent over the last three years.

Also through that three-year span, First State Manufacturing has added 47 new jobs with that number expected to grow, said Vice President of Marketing Scott Crothers.

“We have a strategic plan in place,” Mr. Crothers said. “Our leadership team has been faithfully pursuing that plan to diversify our services as well as our client-base providing us with work to keep our production lines running.”

Following Wednesday’s tour, the state’s top-ranking official was impressed.

“Very impressive, it looks a whole lot different today than the last time I was here,” Gov. Markell said to Mr. and MS. Valenzuela. “You can tell by visiting this building and seeing the folks you have out there and the equipment they are working on the kind of investment you have put in this business.”

From the Milford Chronicle Sports Desk

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.