Press-Republican

Local News

January 13, 2010

Pfizer extends Rouses Point lease through 2010

Both Akrimax, 350 employees given good news

PLATTSBURGH — Pfizer has extended its lease of the Rouses Point manufacturing facility until at least the end of 2010.

David Champagne, managing director of the Pfizer manufacturing facility in Rouses Point, confirmed that the company had extended its agreement with Akrimax Pharmaceuticals.

"Pfizer has made the decision to extend that (lease) clause until the close of 2010," he said during the Pfizer Transition Coordinating Council meeting Wednesday morning.

BUYS MORE TIME

Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas said the announcement gives Akrimax six months additional lease revenue and more time to ramp up manufacturing for itself and other companies.

The announcement means that about 350 Pfizer employees in the manufacturing end could remain with the company at least through the end of this year, after announced layoffs of about 200 Rouses Point manufacturing employees take place.

Pfizer retains the option to extend the lease for six-month increments through the end of 2011.

HUGE IMPACT

Alan Beideck, a regional labor economist with the New York State Department of Labor, distributed copies of a workforce-reduction-impact study created by the State Labor Department's Division of Research and Statistics.

The analysis focuses on the North Country labor market region, which includes Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

The study shows the direct effect of the approximately 600 Pfizer layoffs in Chazy, Rouses Point and Plattsburgh at $42.1 million in lost payroll and a $179 million economic impact.

Firms that sell to Pfizer — including some from this area — are projected to cut another 294 jobs, with $13.7 million in payroll and an economic impact of $54.4 million.

When other local businesses are affected by lost spending, an additional 248 jobs are expected to be lost, with $8 million in payroll and $24.8 million in economic impact.

LOST WAGES

The average annual wage for Pfizer's manufacturing jobs is estimated at $57,550 by the Department of Labor's Occupational Employment Statistics program.

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