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Whitney Blake gets loan from economic development fund

ROCKINGHAM—The Whitney Blake Company, a manufacturer of wire, cable, and cable assembly products, has been awarded $350,000 through the Windham County Economic Development Program.

According to a news release, the proceeds of this loan will be used to restructure debt and increase operating capital as the company reorganizes and expands its Rockingham operations.

In February 2018, the Whitney Blake Company acquired the former Vermed building in Rockingham. With this purchase, the manufacturing operations of its Springfield, Vermont, facility were moved to this new facility. Adding 45,000 square feet of assembly capacity allowed the company to maximize efficiencies by having one plant focus on wire and cable manufacturing and the other on wiring harness and cable assembly.

In July 2018, WBC also purchased the assets of Sonetronics Inc., a communication equipment assembly operation in New Jersey. The company says this purchase complements their existing customer base and product offerings by providing a springboard into acoustical products as well as access to military markets.

Currently, 95 full-time employees are employed in its two Rockingham facilities. The company says it expects 28 new full-time positions to be created in Rockingham in the next three years, and an additional five jobs will be transitioned to Vermont from their Monterrey, Mexico, facility.

WBC says the loan will help accelerate this migration of operations out of New Jersey.

WCEDP is administered by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development in cooperation with the WCEDP Advisory Council.

The funds were secured from Entergy, the former owner of the now-closed Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, for the purpose of mitigating the impacts of the plant’s closure on the region’s economy. For more information, visit accd.vermont.gov/economic-development/funding-incentives/windham-county.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #523 (Wednesday, August 14, 2019). This story appeared on page B2.

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