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Granholm Says Economic Plan Already Positioning State in Life Sciences

January 22, 2007

21st Century Jobs Fund will help offset Pfizer R&D job losses

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today called news that Pfizer is moving research and development operations out of Michigan a "devastating blow to Pfizer families" but said the state's economic plan and its 21st Century Jobs Fund are already positioning the state to grow jobs in the life sciences and other 21st century industries. 
"While this is a devastating blow to so many Michigan families, the state's economic plan and our 21st Century Jobs Fund are already at work positioning the state as a leader in life sciences, alternative energy, homeland security and defense, and advanced manufacturing," said Granholm.  "Our plan will help ensure there are diverse jobs in this state to keep Pfizer's employees here, provide opportunity for all Michigan's people, and attract the talent needed to keep the best companies in the new economy.  Despite Pfizer's business decisions, there are 21st century companies - including bioscience companies - that are choosing Michigan as a place to grow and create jobs today."

Granholm noted that Michigan has 120 new life sciences companies since 2000 and said the state will work to keep as many of the highly talented Pfizer workers as possible in Michigan.  These highly skilled workers and the jobs they perform are the jobs the state is committed to in the 21st century. 

The company was quick to point out that today's announcement is a bottom-line business decision, and there is nothing any state could have done to change the outcome.  The announcement, said the company, is part of a world-wide restructuring that will result in closing operations in other parts of the United States and around the world.
In addition to the state's broad economic plan and the 21st Century Jobs Fund, the Governor pledged to assist Ann Arbor economic development officials in their efforts to do everything possible to help retain workers affected by today's decisions.
Last fall, Granholm announced $135 million in 21st Century Jobs Fund awards, including $71.5 million to companies in Washtenaw County where the bulk of the Pfizer job losses will be experienced.  Included in the funded projects is $8 million to Ann Arbor Spark for the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund that will provide funding to entrepreneurial ventures or high-tech start-up companies.  Those companies will receive $50,000 to $250,000 to help them with patent research and application, proof of principle development, prototype development, market analysis, and other activities.  A match is required for all funding.
In a statement to the Governor, Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler noted that Michigan is a great state and explained that while the company's presence in the state will change, it is proud that Michigan will continue to be home to more than 4,000 Pfizer colleagues at manufacturing and animal health facilities in the state.

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