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IEC takes next steps in Newark transformation

A company that almost ended up in the industrial graveyard is set to begin a new phase of growth.

IEC Electronics broke ground Thursday, under sunny skies, on its new 150,000-square-foot corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility at Silver Hill Technology Park. The company plans to create up to 362 new jobs.

The total cost of the project is about $22 million, and IEC is on track to begin operations at the facility in early 2020.

Jeffrey Schlarbaum, IEC’s president and CEO, said the job-creation effort already has started, with 230 new employees added over the past 12 months — and 175 of those are in Newark.

In total, IEC has about 800 employees today. Contrast that to its slide in the 1990s, when its consumer electronics business vanished. A company that was employing thousands in not only Newark, but around the world, with sales of about $300 million, was suddenly down to 100 workers and sales of about $20 million, Schlarbaum noted.

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