PORTAGE — Pfizer Inc. is the first manufacturer to take advantage of the Good Jobs for Michigan incentive program signed into law a year ago by Gov. Rick Snyder.
The pharmaceutical giant said today it will invest $465 million into a two-story, 400,000-square-foot building at its Portage campus, which will serve as a sterile drug manufacturing facility. The company expects the project to create 450 jobs over the next eight years, including 354 jobs that qualify for the Good Jobs for Michigan incentive. The high-paying jobs for professional and skilled laborers pay from $70,100 to $93,300 annually.
“What is great is that Pfizer has (14 facilities) in the U.S. and they chose this site for the future … of that investment,” said Jeff Mason, CEO of the Lansing-based Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC). “What this enforces is what a great business environment (Michigan) has, what a great work culture (it has). They are making a huge bet with Kalamazoo and Michigan on the future of the company.”
The sizeable investment and promise to create hundreds of jobs qualified Pfizer for the Good Jobs for Michigan incentives. As part of the incentives, Pfizer will receive a 10-year tax break that’s valued at $10.5 million, including a $1 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund.
According to Mason, the MEDC worked with Pfizer for more than six months before the company finally chose to put the expansion at its Portage campus. The New York City-based Pfizer has 14 facilities throughout the world where it manufactures injectable drugs.
“(The Good Jobs for Michigan initiative) is a tool that really helps us be able to compete for projects like this, where we are trying to compete globally for locations,” Mason told MiBiz. “This is the first time we actually used this initiative. We wanted to make a strong business case, and the business client liked the incentives. … It was a winning combination.”
According to Pfizer’s Kirsten Lund-Jurgensen, Ph.D., the investment positions the pharmaceutical company for long-term growth in the injectable drugs market.
“For Pfizer, this is the place where we make our medicine, where we make them for patients that absolutely need them,” said Lund-Jurgensen, executive vice president at the company and president for Pfizer Global Supply. “In the new facility, we will be making critically, medically necessary … injectable products. … They have to be perfect, they have to be high quality”
According to a MEDC memo, Pfizer needed the additional incentive funding to help it comply with new FDA regulations mandating that pharmaceutical companies manufacture injectable drugs in “sterile, self-contained productions rooms.”
Site Manager Ron Perry told MiBiz that Pfizer is always focusing on complying with new regulations “that drive our industry.”
“As we build our (facility), we build opportunities for employment, and we build hope, promise and solutions for our patients around the world,” he said.
Pfizer’s Portage facility will have an regional economic impact of $49.2 million over the next 15 years, according to the memo.
For his part, Snyder cited Pfizer’s commitment to invest and create jobs in Portage as the kind of new business attraction the Good Jobs for Michigan incentives were designed to attract.
“We should continue to expand … to develop the talent pipeline,” Snyder told reporters at a press conference this afternoon. “It’s about these high-paid, high-demand jobs. (These are) good jobs for Michigan.”