July 5, 2005
Barr Laboratories to Add New Jobs at Forest, Va., Pharmaceuticals Facility
Jul. 2--LYNCHBURG, Va. -- Barr Laboratories in Forest announced a $15 million expansion Friday afternoon that its chief executive officer said will add as many as 70 new jobs to the generic pharmaceuticals facility in the next year.
Barr CEO Bruce Downey made the announcement at the company's annual Fourth of July celebration, which was held inside its manufacturing facility.Downey said the jobs will be a mix of manufacturing, quality control and chemist positions to aid in expanding the line of generic drugs it manufactures.
With the new jobs, the Forest plant will employ up to 500 employees by the end of 2006.
Downey added that interviews with prospective employees will start in early 2006, with new drug offerings hitting the market by 2007.
As other businesses downsize or send jobs overseas, Downey said, "We continue to invest in jobs in Virginia and in the U.S."
The GOP's gubernatorial candidate used Friday's event to bolster his Central Virginia campaign effort.
Former Attorney General Jerry Kilgore's address buttressed Downey's new job announcement. He said afterward that, as governor, he would continue to bring new jobs to the region.
"Barr Labs has stepped up to the plate time and time again, being the type of corporate citizen that we all want," he said during his remarks to employees and fellow lawmakers.
This is the fourth time Kilgore has spoken at Barr Labs, and the first time he has done so as a candidate for governor in November.
U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, former Gov. Jim Gilmore and Del. Preston Bryant joined Bedford County supervisors and area Constitutional officers at the event.
State Sen. Steve Newman, a Lynchburg Republican and owner of a public relations company, also was present. Newman acts as the lab's public relations liaison and helped set up the event.
Downey said the new investment will not require adding to the facility's existing footprint.
"When we built the facility, we built it with the ability to expand," he said, adding that the new investment in machinery and offices will nearly fill the existing space.
Downey said Barr Labs chose to expand the Virginia plant over operations in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.
"I was very much impressed with the work ethic of the people in this community," he said, adding that Virginia has a record of supporting business interests that started when former Gov. George Allen approached the company in the mid-1990s to expand operations into Virginia.
Kilgore faces Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, in November's general election.
Pomona, N.Y.-based Barr Laboratories has 2,000 employees who work in every state except Alaska. The Forest facility manufactures 96 different products.
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