DuPont Co. laid off about 200 scientists in its Central Research and Development division at the Experimental Station on Monday, according to sources familiar with the facility's operations.
Those job losses, said to include doctorate holders and technicians, account for nearly half of the Experimental Station's central research staff. DuPont's two core research and development functions – material sciences and molecular sciences – were said to be gutted, reportedly leaving only 16 doctorate holders among the two business units...
...All Delaware workers laid off by DuPont will receive a separation package, career placement services and training allowances based on years of service, company officials said.
According to DuPont workers, that package that includes a minimum of two months' worth of full pay with an additional month's pay for every two years of service, up to a maximum of a 12 months. The workers also reportedly are eligible to receive a pre-approved $5,000 training allowance, along with a year of so-called COBRA medical and dental coverage at employee rates...
...Bob Strong, deputy principal assistant at the state Labor Department, said the agency is hoping to send rapid-response teams to meet with DuPont workers by the end of January.
Those teams will provide workers with detailed information about collecting unemployment when their severance packages expire, along with job training and certification assistance, he said.
"We're expecting to provide general information to employees in advance and then hold multiple events, each with about 200 to 300 staff members, where we can provide more specific details and really drill down on their questions and concerns," he said.
"In the meantime, we've developed a survey that will help us match each worker's job title and skills to available positions throughout the state and get a better idea of what assistance these folks think they'll need."I am so sorry for those affected. Some questions I wish I knew the answers to:
- What percentage of laid-off DuPont workers will be able to find work in chemistry in the area? (broadly speaking) I feel like the Philadelphia area (GSK, Rohm and Haas/Dow, Merck) have already been very hard hit over the last ten years, with no palpable resurgence.
- What percentages of these laid-off scientists will be able to find work in chemistry at all? Are other markets (Boston, say?) booming enough to absorb these folks?
- When you have a highly technical workforce like this one, do the surveys and such from state unemployment offices actually help?
- What does this mean for layoffs for Dow?