July 22, 2005
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Poor Kalamazoo: It looks like Pfizer is moving some 500 research jobs out of the area (most of these are actually in Portage, the city just to our south). They’re leaving most of the manuafacturing jobs, and animal research in the area, as well as a small research group. Kalamazoo was the world headquarters of the Upjohn Company, which merged with Pharmacia and then swallowed by Pfizer. This doesn’t bode well for Kalamazoo’s long term future. A local hobby shop, Rider’s, recently announced they are going out of business: the manager said:
We survived the close of the General Motors plant, but the layoffs and job transfers at Pfizer really hurt us.
and this was the earlier round of layoffs at Pfizer.
Governor Granholm is trying to negotiate the creation of a 3 billion dollar R&D fund with the Republican dominated legislature; she’s also traveling to Japan to woo Toyota to build plants in Michigan (here’s an article on the trip and the fund). Michigan is tied with Mississippi for the highest unemployment: it’s just possible that these efforts will help.