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150 jobs expected in Bowman expansion

December 09, 1997

150 jobs expected in Bowman expansion

By LAURA ERNDE

Staff Writer

Washington County's largest trucking company recently inked a contract with the Hechinger Co. that could lead to 150 new jobs over five years, officials said Tuesday.

D.M. Bowman Inc. of Williamsport started construction Monday on a 360,000-square-foot warehouse at Newgate Industrial Park, said Chairman of the Board Don Bowman.

From the warehouse, Bowman will distribute products to 88 Hechinger stores in the mid-Atlantic region.

The deal will close a warehouse operation in Landover, Md., that the Largo, Md.-based Hechinger had been using, he said.

Bowman will hire 50 people to be shipping and receiving managers, dock labor supervisors, forklift operators, warehouse and dock laborers and truck drivers, he said.

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Over the next five years, the warehouse could expand to 1 million square feet and employ 150 people, he said.

The first part of the warehouse should be finished in about four months, but Bowman said hiring might begin sooner.

Bowman, who was interviewed by cellular telephone on his way back from Baltimore, could not say what the average new job will pay.

Bowman has similar distribution contracts with Radio Shack and Payless Shoe.

"This has the potential of being the biggest contract of all. This is only the start of the project," Bowman said.

Bowman said he chose Newgate Industrial Park on Hopewell Road because it is close to Interstates 81 and 70.

The warehouse will take up 65 acres across from Phillips Driscopipe. Purina also is in the industrial park.

Bowman is buying the land from the Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation, known as CHIEF.

The 245-acre park is being developed by the Washington County government. Its roads, water and sewer are being built with $1.58 million in federal grants, said Washington County Economic Development Director John C. Howard, who jointly announced the project with Bowman on Tuesday.

Howard said he is trying to attract more businesses, including manufacturers, to that and other county industrial sites.

Washington County Commissioner James R. Wade has said the county should seek more manufacturing jobs for the limited industrial park space left.

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