DuPont looking to hire more Kinston employees

David Anderson

Staff Writer, Kinston Free Press

In tough economic times, any news of new jobs is good news, even if it is news of only a handful.

With both of their Sorona fiber production lines currently running at full capacity, DuPont officials are looking to fill seven positions at their Kinston facility in the coming weeks.

“As of today, they’re both running full,” Terry Gooding, a Cary-based regional spokesman for the Wilmington, Del., corporation, said Monday.

DuPont, which was established in Delaware nearly 210 years ago in 1802 to manufacture and ship gunpowder, has grown into a worldwide corporation specializing in textiles, raw fibers, bioscience, electronics, pharmaceuticals and more.

A massive textile manufacturing plant was established in Kinston in the early 1950s; at its height, it employed about 3,000 people.

The plant currently has about 200 people employed manufacturing Sorona, a “renewably sourced fiber” used in a variety of products.

Gooding said there are six new positions open, and one is a “backfill,” which came open via “attrition.”

They include a wastewater associate, four control room operators, one electrician and one lab operator.

Gooding said applicants can visit to apply, or the upcoming April 3 job fair at LCC where company representatives will be present.

“They’ll share information about the upcoming job openings,” Gooding said.

A crop research facility run by DuPont subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred is up and running, with about 10 jobs created.

Gooding said all positions have been filled at the Pioneer facility, but “if there is a need that arises, they plan on hiring temporary labor at peak production times.”

As a whole, DuPont saw major growth in 2011, according to its recently-released annual report.

Sales had increased by 20 percent from 2010, Ellen Kullman, board chair and CEO, stated in the report.

Net sales were $38 billion in 2011, a nearly $10 billion increase from 2007, when net sales were $29.4 billion.

Kullman stated the company’s agricultural sector had the highest growth in 2011, but DuPont felt some impact from slowing growth in its Asian markets, and the ongoing recession and debt crisis rocking Europe.

Despite economic conditions worldwide, DuPont continued to expand, growing U.S. manufacturing facilities in Ohio and South Carolina. Innovation Centers are scheduled to open in Mexico and Brazil this year, followed by more expansions in India,China and Europe.

The company also launched 1,700 new products last year.

Kullman wrote that DuPont’s former profile as a chemical company “no longer adequately describes us or the direction in which we are rapidly moving. Investors who know us well fully understand that we have transformed DuPont into a market-driven science company with a major presence in agriculture and food, advanced materials, and with a substantial opportunity in biotechnology.”

David Anderson can be reached at 252-559-1077 or Follow him on Twitter at DavidFreePress.

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