Ashland Inc.  (ASH) to Move 300 Wayne Jobs  
3/5/2013 8:16:02 AM

A chemical manufacturing company will close its Wayne operations and move its 300 employees to other parts of the state, passing on plans to leave New Jersey but dealing another blow to the township's economy. Ashland Specialty Ingredients, which makes chemicals for consumer and commercial products, will relocate most of its workers in the fall to a 200,000-square-foot laboratory and office space in Bridgewater. The rest will be moved to a short-term — as yet unidentified — North Jersey site. Company officials said they considered "several potential sites out of New Jersey" but opted to stay in the state in part because it is close to several customers, among them pharmaceutical companies and those in the personal care industry. Ashland Specialty Ingredients is the latest of several companies to announce a departure or job loss from the township, among them Bayer Healthcare, which is moving to Hanover Township, and the Hostess-owned Drake's bakery, which closed in November and laid off 320 workers. "It's sad when any business decides to leave the township," Mayor Christopher Vergano said, referring to the company, which was formerly part of GAF. "They have been in Wayne a very long time. "In times of consolidation this seems to be happening more and more," he added. "A lot of their employees live in the township, shop in the township. And hopefully they will find somebody to take their place."