Michigan Department of Consumer and Industry Services Director David Hollister announced today that no time or effort will be spared in providing state assistance for employees displaced by Pfizer’s recent acquisition of Pharmacia, and in encouraging new job creation for those skilled workers.
“These workers are highly trained and educated, and are a phenomenal asset to Michigan,” Hollister said.“We will be harnessing all the resources of the state of Michigan to make certain these workers find positions or even start up their own business ventures.”
Today, Pfizer announced its plans to eliminate approximately $2.5 billion in cumulative cost savings worldwide through 2005 as a result of its recent acquisition of Pharmacia.Michigan did share in part of those cost savings through the eliminations of some Pfizer functions in Holland and Kalamazoo County.
The Michigan Department of Career Development’s rapid response team will move to those communities to help displaced workers with job counseling, resume writing, interviewing skills, using the Michigan Talent Bank, and other resources.
The state’s assistance will extend beyond the traditional services.Taking into account the ultimate needs of former Pfizer employees, state resources will be utilized to help Kalamazoo advance its biotechnology industry growth strategy.
A team from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) will be working with local economic development officials in developing an action plan for furthering the region’s emerging life sciences cluster.
Governor Granholm’s proposed Technology Tri-Corridor is one asset that may be able to offer financial assistance for Kalamazoo’s biotech industry.In addition, the MEDC, in partnership with Southwest Michigan First and possibly Pfizer, will work to develop a plan to create a new regional life sciences venture capital fund.
The community also will be able to use the tools the MEDC has already helped to put in place for life sciences business growth, including the Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids SmartZones business accelerators and incubators.These tools will provide the space and business counseling services for former Pfizer’s employees to grow and succeed.
“Our efforts to assist Pfizer employees have just begun,” Hollister said.“We intend to work diligently until each employee finds a first-class job in Michigan.”
Prior to today’s announcement, Pfizer employed approximately 10,000 Michigan workers with facilities in Kalamazoo, Richland Township, Texas Township, Portage, Holland and Ann Arbor. The Kalamazoo County employees make up more than 6,300 of those workers.