For Immediate Release:
March 29, 2016
Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, (804) 225-4260, Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov | Virginia Economic Development Partnership: Suzanne Clark, (804) 545-5806, Sclark@yesvirginia.org
Governor McAuliffe Announces $168 Million Investment in Rockingham County
~Merck to expand Elkton manufacturing operation~
Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, a global health care leader, will invest $168 million to expand its manufacturing operation near the Town of Elkton in Rockingham County. Over a period of time, Merck will upgrade plant infrastructure, add manufacturing-related facilities and equipment, and undertake a personnel training initiative to support the bioprocessing environment.
“Virginia is proud to be a partner to this extraordinary leader in the biopharmaceutical industry,” Governor McAuliffe said. “We welcome this important project, which will enhance Merck’s position on our corporate roster and expand the contributions they make to the economy of this important region and our entire state. Our existing businesses are key to building a new Virginia economy, and we remain committed to these corporate citizens as they make the investments necessary to succeed in the 21st century economy.”
“This expansion in Rockingham County is a wonderful testament to the great assets in the Shenandoah Valley and the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones. “Merck is keeping its business competitive by making an investment to upgrade technology and enhance the skill set of its workforce. This is great news for the manufacturing industry in the region, and we are grateful to the company for its commitment to Virginia.”
“Merck began operations in Elkton in 1941,” said Brandon Brega, associate vice president and Elkton plant manager, Merck Manufacturing Division. “Now, nearly 75 years later, we are proud to be building on the strong roots we have established in Elkton, knowing that our operations here play an important role in enabling Merck to fulfill its mission of helping the world be well by bringing our innovative, high-quality medicines to more patients around the world.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Rockingham County and the Shenandoah Valley Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe approved a $1.3 million performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program, an incentive available to existing Virginia companies. Funding and services to support the company’s employee retraining activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
“We have a long history with the company, and this expansion proves, once again, that success can be found here,” said Rockingham County Board of Supervisors Chairman William B. Kyger. “We congratulate the entire Merck team for this accomplishment and look forward to supporting them as they continue to develop high-quality medicines for the world.”
"We are all very pleased that Merck will be spending $168 million to upgrade and expand its facility,” said Delegate Robert Bell. “Merck has provided jobs to Valley residents for generations and plays an important role in the Elkton economy. We look forward to its continued success."
"Announcements such as this reflect the hard work and dedication of the state and localities partnering together with private business to create good-paying job opportunities for Virginia's workforce,” said Senator Emmett Hanger. “Merck has been a good corporate citizen here in the Valley for generations. They are environmentally conscious, they value their employees, and they are at the forefront internationally in developing and manufacturing pharmaceuticals that are making a difference in the quality of life for millions of people worldwide. It is great news that they are renewing their commitment to Virginia through this planned investment."
Since the beginning of the McAuliffe administration, 632 economic development deals have been closed in Virginia with more than $10.77 billion in capital investment, which is more than any previous governor in the first 26 months in office.