Sky-high deal for local plant

Made in WNY: Parts for Goodyear Blimp

May 12, 2014 Updated May 12, 2014 at 9:16 AM EDT

By Elizabeth Carey

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May 12, 2014 Updated May 12, 2014 at 9:16 AM EDT

You can spot Goodyear blimps at the most watched news, entertainment and sporting events around the world. That's the way it's been since 1925.

Now local workers can brag that they had a role in building the newest blimp, thanks to a product that's Made in Western New York.

Workers at the DuPont Yerkes plant in Tonawanda are still flying high knowing a product they developed and made is helping to preserve the popular Goodyear blimp. Goodyear's newest airship, which just debuted features DuPont Tedlar film. "Tedlar provides weatherability. It won't fade over time so when you see that blimp in 30 years, it will still be that same color," explains operations area manager Mike Wienckowski.

DuPont supplied the Tedlar to Goodyear and crews got to work in the blimp hangar. Tedlar serves as the protective coating on the blimp. The film was first invented at DuPont's Tonawanda plant in the 1960s and now comes in 60 different colors, from clear to black, with various thickness. It's flexible, but also durable so it has many applications and is popular for use in the airline and aerospace industries.

Plant manager Warren Hoy says workers at DuPont Yerkes are always looking for new ways to use Tedlar while also creating new product lines. "If we're not reinventing and coming up with new applications, we're eventually going to go the way of the dinosaurs," he said. "It's very important that we innovate."

Soon the local plant will need a new generation of workers to carry on that innovation. Right now, ten jobs are available. In the next five years, half of the workforce will be eligible for retirement creating new job opportunities. "They range from operations to mechanics to Phd scientists. Given the rate of attrition over the next five years, we're going to be doing a lot of hiring and training here."

For more information on the DuPont job opportunities, go to:

http://careers.dupont.com/jobsearch/#All~Organizations|All~Locations|All~Job~Categories|USA|1|1|1|1

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