First State Manufacturing opens new warehouse

first-state-2MILFORD — While First State Manufacturing continues celebrating its founder for becoming NaVOBA’s 2016 Hispanic Vetrepreneur of the Year, it celebrated another milestone: the opening of a new warehouse and distribution center.

“This facility will not only allow us to serve our national customers, but our international contracts,” Vice President Sher Valenzuela said. “We are looking forward to being able to move towards maintaining a small inventory of finished goods, especially for our Turnova™ safety sleeve line and our F² Seating products that we are planning to manufacture here in Milford.”

Vice President of Marketing and Contract Administration Scott Crothers took a group of officials and community members for a tour of the facility Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the grand opening.

During the tour, Mr. Crothers shared his own story of success within the company.

“There’s something about this company,” he began. “I came to Delaware to care for an ill family member. I come to work now and I find love. What makes this company unlike any other is love. I challenge you to find a company that has as much heart as First State Manufacturing.”

After walking further into the facility and unveiling the new warehouse and distribution center, he said it “represents excellence in manufacturing.”

First State Manufacturing boasts contracts from around the world, including those with the Navy, Air Force, Air Mobility Command and, most recently, Amtrak and the Japanese Ministry of Defense, according to Mr. Crothers.

The company, which was built from the ground up by the Valenzuela’s, now also has its own patented product: Turnova which was developed by First State Manufacturing as a protective barrier for beams, turnstiles and other places where metal can easily be exposed.

fsm-2-1U.S. Senator Tom Carper, introduced as a friend to First State Manufacturing, was on hand for the celebration.

“He was a major help to loosening challenges to make First State Manufacturing what we are today,” Ms. Valenzuela said of Sen. Carper. “He always shakes the hand of every employee when he’s here. It’s a direct result of the way this man lives his life every day.”

Sen. Carper spoke in length of his previous involvement with Amtrak as a member of Amtrak’s Board of Directors from 1994-1998 and why he became interested in trains.

“I had my first train ride at 5-years-old. We lived in Beaver Creek, Va. We would wait for the train to come by, hoping the engineer would acknowledge our existence,” he chuckled. “One day, one afternoon here comes the train. And it stopped. And off came our grandfather. He worked for B&O Railroad.”

He told the group how his grandfather asked if the now U.S. Senator wanted a train ride with his cousin.

“We went for what seemed like 4-500 miles, really it was feet. And he said what all grandfathers would say: Don’t tell your grandmother.”

The contract between First State Manufacturing and Amtrak is just another of Delaware’s piece to the worldwide puzzle, he added.

“The trains in America are functional, but nothing to be proud of. It’s a good thing we haven’t killed it. It’s a cost effective way to move people,” Sen. Carper continued. “And it doesn’t create a lot of pollution. This is a form of transportation whose time has come again.”

According to Lori Tovcimak-Speed, First State Manufacturing is an award winning company and is one of the most successful manufacturers of its size in the nation.  First State Manufacturing has earned its reputation for providing custom sewn solutions that solve the challenges its customer’s face, while providing employment opportunities that enhance the lives of its employees and their families in lower Delaware.

Jennifer Antonik can be reached at

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.