Earlier this year, local manufacturing firm D.C. Humphrys was awarded a $1,000,000 Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant by the Pennsylvania Office of the Budget. This sum will be combined with a matching investment from D.C. Humphrys to construct additional manufacturing space and create a significant number of new production jobs over the next 10 years.
Operating within the Philadelphia city limits since 1874, D.C. Humphrys is comprised of the following divisions: CoverSports, Globe Canvas, Jefco Mfg, Metropolitan Flag & Banner, and Americraft. D.C. Humphrys is a leading manufacturer of industrial, athletic, military, and awning fabric products. (think of the giant tarp the Phillies use to cover the field during rain delays). As of the end of 2019, D.C. Humphrys employed over 150 people, 77% of whom occupied production positions. Those production workers were paid wages averaging 44% higher than the average per capita income of the neighborhoods in which they resided and provided with full benefits and retirement matching.
D.C. Humphrys has been in the Kingsessing neighborhood since 1987 and has grown steadily until it reached 100% utilization of its 150,000 sq. ft. manufacturing space this past year. In order to enable continued growth, this RACP grant will enable the company to build a 30,000 sq. ft. extension through a currently-unused parking lot owned by the company. This extension will link its Paschall Ave and Woodland Ave facilities, and enable the company to purchase additional machinery and hire staff to run it from the surrounding neighborhood. Of the planned expansion, D.C. Humphrys CEO Ron Nissenbaum said, “We hope to continue the long legacy of textile manufacturing in Philadelphia and create more of the types of jobs Kingsessing so desperately needs.”
This investment is only the latest in a series of efforts by D.C. Humphrys and the local government to improve the Kingsessing area. State Representative James R. Roebuck, Jr. and United States Congressman Dwight Evans have both been working directly with the company for the improvement of the Kingsessing neighborhood. In particular, D.C. Humphrys makes an effort to employ citizens returning from the prison system, including three members of the Innocence Project. They also buy and renovate dilapidated homes in Kingsessing, before selling them to first-time home buyers from insecure populations. Now thanks to the joint effort of these two representatives and D.C. Humphrys, the securing of this RACP grant represents an investment that will contribute to the improvement of the Kingsessing neighborhood for decades to come.