FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 09, 1997



Jill Lawrence
Virginia Economic Development Partnership
(804) 371-0049
Jill Lawrence
VEDP
(804) 371-0049
Governor Allen Welcomes Corporate Headquarters to Norfolk
-- Market Connections Company to Open $3.5 Million Facility --


Richmond - Governor George Allen today announced that Market Connections Company, a new global communications firm specializing in health care, will locate its worldwide headquarters in the City of Norfolk. Market Connections will lease a 30,000 square-foot building and invest $3.5 million. The company will initially hire 125 employees, followed by an additional 175 by January 1998.

"In today's rapidly changing health care and pharmaceutical industries, Market Connections is on the leading edge of customer service," said Governor Allen. "Market Connections' new corporate headquarters in Norfolk places them in a pro-business location on the East Coast to assist corporations in their quest to provide quality medical information to consumers. This decision is a real shot in the arm for Norfolk."

The BLP Group, a leader among health care communication companies, created Market Connections to provide global teleservice and customer contact communications to the pharmaceutical industry and other health care organizations such as managed care groups, clinical research organizations and biotechnology firms. The concept of the Norfolk facility originated in response to the spiraling growth of customer services provided by health care-based service corporations. The company plans to recruit dietitians, registered nurses and other health care professionals for employment.

"As we looked to the Mid-Atlantic region, Norfolk, Virginia, proved to be the most attractive area to locate our new company," said Gregory F. Boron, chief operating officer of the BLP Group Companies and president of Market Connections Company. "An important component in our success will be Virginia's highly-trained workforce."

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the City of Norfolk and the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance assisted the company with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.


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