Dot Foods, the largest food industry redistributor in North America, continues to grow, officially breaking ground today on its twelfth distribution center. The new $36 million facility will be constructed on 35 acres of land in Bear, about 50 miles southwest of Philadelphia.

The 188,000-square-foot facility will be located at 301 American Boulevard, near the intersection of Red Lion and Wrangle Hill Roads. The development includes offices; dry, refrigerated and frozen warehouse space; and a truck yard and garage to service Dot's fleet.

"A lot of work has been done to get us to this day," said Dick Tracy, Dot Foods President, "And we are excited to move this project into the next phase. Dot Foods Delaware joins our other two East Coast locations, in Maryland and New York and will allow us to even better serve our customers in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. We look forward to building relationships with many more people in the region as we become part of the Bear community."

Dot Foods leaders were joined by several state and county leaders to mark the occasion. Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long and Director Damian DeStefano of the Delaware Division of Small Business attended today's groundbreaking ceremony, along with State Representative Valerie Longhurst, State Senator Nicole Poore and New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer, among others.

"We are so pleased to welcome Dot Foods to Delaware. With the creation of their facility and hiring of 200 plus employees, Dot will not only add valuable employment resources, but will become a critical member of Delaware's economic fiber," said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long. "This move reaffirms Delaware's commitment to making our state stronger and healthier through quality sustainable growth."

"It is wonderful to see Dot Foods break ground on its new facility here in Delaware," said DeStefano. "This project would not have been possible without the help of our partners in New Castle County and the Delaware Prosperity Partnership. It shows to what we can achieve when we take a collaborative approach to economic development and why Delaware is an excellent place for businesses to grow and thrive."

Dot will begin work on the Bear distribution center next month, with an estimated completion date for the project of fall 2019. Dot will hire up to 125 people in the first year, starting with truck drivers. The company has established a terminal location in nearby New Castle, Delaware, for its transportation operations at 194 S. Dupont Highway. Dot Transportation offers multiple career opportunities for both experienced and new drivers at the New Castle terminal: those that handle freight and those that don't, with schedule options that fit your lifestyle. Drivers' salaries are guaranteed in writing; experienced drivers who handle freight are guaranteed to earn $75,000 their first year, and those who do not touch freight are guaranteed $71,800. Experienced drivers also receive an assigned tractor on day one, vacation time match and health insurance gap coverage.

Dot will also have career opportunities for warehouse and support staff. Hiring will get underway next spring. Dot plans to employ 200 people by 2022.

"I'm so thrilled Dot Foods is joining our community," said State Senator Nicole Poore. "Dot is one of the nation's most successful family businesses and this groundbreaking is a testament not only to their success, but that Delaware and the greater Bear area are open for business. Dot has a longstanding record not only as a good employer and a valuable contributor to the local economy, but as a responsible corporate citizen and as a participant in sustainability, charitable giving, and empowering people from all backgrounds. We all share those values in Delaware, and I know that Dot will fit right in, both as an economic asset and as a neighbor to all of us."

"I am so pleased to welcome Dot Foods to the Bear community, and look forward to their continued impact in our area," said House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst. "The largest food industry redistributor in North America, Dot expects to bring nearly 200 jobs to Delaware with this facility. These are high-quality, good-paying jobs right in our backyard, and I am encouraged by these significant opportunities for all Delawareans. This new site has the potential to be an anchor for the company and I am thrilled to see the construction get underway."

"We are excited to partner with Dot Foods to offer hundreds of quality job opportunities to Delawareans," said Matthew Meyer, New Castle County Executive. "We win the future when we attract one of our nation's leading food distributors to set up here in New Castle County.

"The best part of moving into a new community and establishing a new distribution center is building our team," Tracy explained. "We're so happy to be at the point that we can start meeting with potential employees in New Castle County and the surrounding area. These are the people who are going to drive our success in Delaware. Today marks a big moment in our company's history."

Dot's Class A Regional Driver positions are currently posted on DriveforDot.com. Dot will employ 50 drivers by the time the Bear distribution center opens in late 2019. As additional positions in the warehouse and office become available, they will be posted at DotFoods.com/careers.  Dot Foods and Dot Transportation offer competitive wages and a top-tier benefit package worth $20,000 that includes health insurance, prescription drug insurance, dental, vision, life insurance, 401(k) with company match, profit sharing and college tuition reimbursement.

Dot Foods Delaware will be led by general manager Joe Little. Little will celebrate his 30th anniversary with the company in 2019. He began his career at Dot's corporate headquarters in Mt. Sterling, Illinois. After spending 13 years there, he moved to Dot's Maryland location, before transferring to Idaho to open that distribution center. For the last five years, Little has served as the general manager of Dot Foods New York in Liverpool. He and his wife Janna are in the process of relocating to Delaware.

"Joe is an excellent leader and the best choice to head the start-up of Dot Foods Delaware," said Tracy. "He bleeds Dot blue and has been instrumental in developing strong teams at several of our distribution centers. He's as knowledgeable as it gets when it comes to our operations, and I know he's going to apply his years of experience to do even more great work in Bear."