Pfizer looks to hire 200 at Michigan plant as expansion nears completion

Pfizer HQ
Pfizer is expanding a plant near Kalamazoo, Michigan, and expects to hire about 200 new workers there next year.

With expansion projects coming to fruition at a Pfizer plant in Michigan and demand growing for the products made there, the company expects to hire 200 workers next year.

The drugmaker in 2016 announced it would invest about $150 million in expansions at the site. The New York-based drugmaker is investing about $105.6 million in a sterile manufacturing operation and another $40.8 million on a warehouse.

Pfizer said in an email today that a new warehouse will be completed by year end while the aseptic processing project is not slated to be finished in 2019 with the first commercial batches expected in 2019.

“We are in the middle of a $150 million investment at the Kalamazoo site, which includes a 98,000-square-foot warehouse and a 10,000-square-foot aseptic processing work center," Bob Betzig, site leader for Pfizer Global supply Kalamazoo, said in an email. "This is part of our ongoing investment in manufacturing capabilities throughout the Pfizer network. In Kalamazoo alone, we have invested about $1 billion over the past decade.
 
Only about 15 new jobs are tied to the two projects, he said, but explained “The 200 jobs we are filling, with another 200 projected over the next year or so, will allow us to keep pace with increased demand for the medicines we make in Kalamazoo and address attrition due to retirements and job changes."

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The projects are part of about $800 million in investments the company has told the city could come at the site over the next decade.

The news comes two weeks after Pfizer reported third-quarter sales of $13.17 billion, hitting consensus expectations on the nose. Earnings exceeded expectations, with non-GAAP earnings per share of 67 cents beating a 64-cent consensus. Pfizer also raised its full-year EPS midpoint guidance by 3 cents.

RELATED: Problems at Hospira plants dog Pfizer and some of its clients

But revenues fell 11% to about $5 billion for its Essential Health unit, the business group into which it had folded generic sterile injectables specialist Hospira after buying it for $15 billion in 2015. Revenues were down as plant issues at Hospira plants led to drug shortages and required investments in improvements.

CEO Ian Read explained that problems at the Hospira plants that the company had expected to solve in a year or two when it took the company over have been harder to deal with than expected and will take more than another year to resolve.