Repurposing former industrial sites means jobs for neighbors

It’s not news that over the last quarter-century, the United States’ manufacturing base has declined significantly, costing hundreds of thousands of workers their jobs and burdening communities with abandoned buildings and polluted land. That’s why it’s just as important to put the land back into productive use as it is to create good new jobs for the workers who need them.

And that’s why we support the development of a UPS distribution center at the old Budd plant site on Red Lion Road.  It rehabilitates the old factory site, restoring it to tax-generating productivity and creating good new jobs today and tomorrow.

Some may question whether we support the project because we may work on the project. Yes, of course – we always support good projects that help us support our families. We are also your neighbors, the coaches of our community’s little league teams and the families you see at church and local restaurants.

This project stands out because of what it is – redevelopment of a long-idle industrial property that will create jobs – and because UPS will occupy it.

We support this project because UPS is a union employer. UPS will create hundreds of new good-paying union jobs with benefits that include healthcare, retirement and educational opportunities. We believe UPS will benefit our community as an employer of choice for many generations.

Another reason we believe our community should support the project is that UPS has a strong track record of community involvement. Last month, UPS was named an honoree of The Civic 50 Greater Philadelphia by Philadelphia Foundation in partnership with Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. UPS also supports community organizations through The UPS Foundation and supports our local United Way chapters by funding Early Youth Development and Education & Family Programs.

That commitment to the community extends to how this project is being developed.

The site is already zoned for this kind of development with easy access to major highways. Rather than pushing the limits on what can be built, the development would take up less than 10 percent of the available buildable space and include ample open space and on-site parking to keep cars and trucks off neighboring streets.

The site will also be landscaped with berms and trees to protect neighbors from light and noise. The company will invest more than $4 million in road and signal improvements to improve safety and keep traffic moving. UPS’s commitment to road safety goes even further, meeting quarterly with industrial neighbors to address traffic issues if they arise.

We want our community to be strong, with good-paying, resilient job opportunities for as many people as possible. That’s why we support the redevelopment of the old Budd plant into a new distribution center for UPS. We hope our neighbors support it, too.

Fraternally,

Stephen Benner, William Dykan Sr., William Dykan Jr., Vincent Esposito, Cicero Mazza, Daniel McGugan, Patrick McGuinness, Christopher Raucheisen, Wayne Tohanczyn, members of the carpenters union