DuPont to retain 500 jobs and spend $500,000 in return for $17.2 million in aid

BY PERRY BEEMAN | Senior Staff Writer | @PerrybeemanBR

DuPont agreed to retain between 250 and 500 jobs at the DuPont Pioneer complex in Johnston and to spend at least $500,000 on capital improvements in return for $17.2 million in aid from state and local governments.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board on Friday approved a $2 million forgivable loan and $14 million in supplemental research activities tax credits. The package also includes a $238,000 forgivable loan from Polk County and a $1 million tax break from Johnston.

The aid comes as DuPont pursues a merger with Dow Chemical Co. The firm announced Friday that DowDuPont’s agriculture company would be based in Wilmington, Del. Iowa officials had lobbied hard and offered undisclosed incentives to bring that development to Johnston. Wilmington is DuPont’s long-time headquarters.

IEDA reported DuPont Pioneer employed 2,634 in Johnston at the end of January. The campus will have to keep 500 of the positions to get the full benefits package. The company agreed to retain at least 250 research and development jobs. The contract covers seven years.

DuPont Pioneer did not promise to create jobs as part of the contract.

The retained jobs must have a wage of at least $22.27 an hour, with that figure hitting $26.72 per hour before the end of the contract.

IEDA reported that because DuPont’s merger with Dow Chemical Co. is still under review, the employment benchmarks will be set again when the two firms establish their planned agriculture company. Those details are expected to be finalized in 2017 or 2018.

DuPont’s application also included plans for $500 million in research and development spending over the seven years.

DuPont Pioneer currently makes up 39.7 percent of taxable commercial valuation and nine percent of overall taxable valuation in Johnston.

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