PORTAGE, Mich. — A handful of local and state officials, including Congress Fred Upton, gathered in front of the cameras Tuesday morning at Pfizer to cut the blue ribbon and officially open their new $147-million facility.
“We are beyond excited,” said Portage Mayor Patricia Randall. “They care about their employees. They’re wonderful corporate citizen. They care about the community to which they’re apart of.”
Pfizer officials said that the 98,500 warehouse — which will store high-quality medicine — has been a project 10 years in the making. During that time period, Pfizer invested a billion dollars into their Portage site, some of that money going to the warehouse. Now, Pfizer is focused on hiring engineers, scientists, project managers and others to staff it.
“Skill trades are the ones we need,” said Bob Betzig, site leader for the Kalamazoo facility. “Get those kids coming through the schools [and] give them an opportunity to see a career path forward.”
Betzig added that they recruit talent through their apprenticeship program with Kalamazoo Valley Community College. They’ve even put up billboards in Battle Creek looking for talent. The warehouse is scheduled to be operational by late March. However they’re hoping to have the 200 positions filled by then.
“We want this to be where families want to locate,” said Congressman Upton. “We survived the worst. Now we’re going to be the best.”
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