Arizona company acquires ex-Northrop plant in Salisbury

September 23, 1994|By John E. Woodruff | John E. Woodruff,Sun Staff Writer

A Phoenix, Ariz.-based company has acquired the former Northrop Grumman plant in Salisbury, saving the jobs of the plant's remaining 80 employees and opening the possibility of hiring between 200 and 300 additional workers over the next two to three years.

Corella Industries Group of Companies took over the plant earlier this month and hired its workers in a deal that included $2.36 million in state funds funneled through the Wicomico County government, state officials said yesterday.

The county used the funds to buy the plant and then leased it to Salisbury Technologies LLC, a newly organized subsidiary of Corella, which will run the factory. Corella also is investing an undisclosed amount of its own funds in the deal.

John J. Corella, president and chief executive of Corella Industries, is due to announce on Monday the award of a new contract that will expand the work force, and additional deals that could bring the number of additional hires to as many as 300, said Rita Chappelle of the State Department of Economic and Employment Development.

The Corella company plans to use the plant to expand its existing capacity to make fiber-optic cable components. To celebrate its expansion, Corella, which is Hispanic-owned, plans to bring a mariachi band from Mexico for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Salisbury plant Monday.

The Corella group has sales of about $50 million to $60 million a year, Ms. Chappelle said.

The company supplies AT&T Network Division, AlliedSignal, Honeywell Corp., the U.S. Air Force and two regional Bell telephone companies in the West, Pacific Bell and U S West Inc.

County officials began negotiations to have Mr. Corella's firm take over the plant last month, after negotiations with Roxbury Electronics Corp., a Massachusetts-based firm, failed to produce a deal.

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