KALAMAZOO -- Governor Jennifer M. Granholm announced today that she will harness a wide range of state resources to encourage displaced Pfizer workers to “stick around” Kalamazoo and Michigan, while continuing her productive relationship with Pfizer to encourage the company’s growth in the state.
“We will continue our full scale efforts to retain these highly-skilled and valuable employees while continuing to work closely with Pfizer on their growth plans,” Granholm said. “The message should be loud and clear to all Pfizer employees: the state is committed to helping you prosper and continue to call Michigan home. Your talent and skills are needed here to help make Michigan a magnet for new life sciences business growth and expansion.”
At today’s event, held at the Southwest Michigan First Innovation Center, Granholm detailed a wide array of state initiatives to keep the bright former Pfizer talent in Michigan including:
·Company Formation Fund: The Life Sciences Steering Committee has set aside $2 million to create a company formation fund to help former Pfizer workers initiate start-up companies.The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has received 29 proposals for this fund, requesting more than $5.5 million and the potential of creating more than 300 new jobs. The Life Sciences Steering Committee will meet on July 14 to make funding decisions.
·High-Tech Career Fair:The MEDC, in partnership with MichBio and Southwest Michigan First, will host a high-tech Michigan job fair on July 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kalamazoo Radisson. More than 30 Michigan companies looking for skilled workers like those formerly employed at Pfizer are expected to attend to meet potential job candidates.
·Out-of-State Business Attraction Campaign:Personal letters from Governor Granholm have been sent to several hundred out-of-state pharmaceutical companies encouraging them to open facilities within the state and discover Michigan’s talented life sciences workforce.Companies looking to establish operations in Michigan will be offered assistance in the form of Single Business Tax credits and other incentives.
·Venture Capital Legislation: The Governor declared her support for creation of a fund of funds that would invest in Michigan venture capital companies focusing on seed stage investments and provide more capital for start-up companies in the state. The legislation would make tax credits available to assure repayment of investments by those who invest in the new fund of funds.
The Governor also restated her commitment to continue close relationships with Pfizer officials with a goal of encouraging the world’s largest drug maker to grow in Michigan.The following items will help to ensure that the company continues to have a positive Michigan experience:
·Infrastructure Assistance:The MEDC is committed to offering assistance to support new infrastructure needed for Pfizer’s Animal Health Center expansion in Richland Township.
· The Michigan Pharmaceutical Product List: The Michigan Department of Community Health is continuing its review of Florida's disease management program that Pfizer has supported to determine if there are any aspects of the program that could be applied to Michigan. In addition, based on the clinical review by the Michigan Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, Pfizer drugs such as Lipitor, Norvasc, Zoloft, Zithromax, Diflucan, Geodon and Vfend do not require prior authorization under the Michigan Pharmaceutical Product List. Celebrex does not require prior authorization for persons over the age of 60.
In April, Pfizer finalized its acquisition of Pharmacia Corporation. The company has its largest number of workers in Michigan, including operations in Kalamazoo, Washtenaw and Ottawa counties.