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Philip Morris USA
PHILIP MORRIS USA TO INVEST UP TO $300 MILLION FOR RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY CENTER IN RICHMOND
-Governor Warner announces 500 new jobs for Virginia-
RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that Philip Morris USA will invest about $300 million to open a research and technology center in the City of Richmond. The project will create 500 new jobs. Positions include scientists, lab technicians and lab support with an average salary significantly higher than the city’s prevailing wage. The center will allow the company to develop new technologies that improve the products it currently manufactures, and may lead to innovative new products. Virginia successfully competed for the project against several technology centers in other states.
“From the time Philip Morris was incorporated in Virginia in 1919 to the move of its corporate headquarters to the region in 2003, the company has remained one of the largest and most stable employers in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Warner. “The location of this industry giant’s research and technology center in Richmond boosts the economic profile of our capital city, and earns Richmond a place on the map as a leader in the research community. We’ve been working on this deal for more than a year, and I’m proud it is finally a reality today.”
Philip Morris USA, headquartered in the Richmond area, was founded in New York City in 1902 as a small tobacco company. Today the company is the leading cigarette manufacturer in the United States, focusing on hiring the best people, producing the highest quality products, committing to continued improvement and giving back to the communities where they live and work. Over the past decade, Philip Morris USA has dedicated significant resources toward scientific research, new product development and commercialization which might help address the harm caused by smoking. The new Research and Technology Center will enhance this commitment.
“We believe this investment will be a major benefit to the Richmond area in general and the downtown area in particular,” said John R. Nelson, Philip Morris USA President of Operations and Technology. “This part of the city is already home to a growing research community made possible by the Biotech Park and Virginia Commonwealth University. In fact, VCU’s life sciences facilities and its medical school were important factors in selecting this location.”
“The Philip Morris USA Research & Technology Center project confirms the vision of the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park as the Commonwealth’s center for biosciences research and commerce,” said Robert T. Skunda, President and CEO of the Park. “The PMUSA R&T Center will bring the Park’s current development to more than 1.1 million square feet of laboratory, research and office space, employing more than 2,000 individuals, and validating the Greater Richmond area’s claim as the ‘New East Coast Center for Biosciences’.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Richmond, the Greater Richmond Partnership, Virginia Biotechnology Research Park, Virginia Commonwealth University and Congressman Eric Cantor to prepare the state’s proposal and negotiate an incentive package that secured the project for Virginia. Governor Warner approved a $3 million grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist the City of Richmond with the project. Governor Warner also approved a $12 million performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program to close the deal. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training through its Workforce Services Program.
“I am pleased that Philip Morris indicated the BioTech Park’s location as one of its primary, favorable reasons for the development,” said City of Richmond Mayor L. Douglas Wilder. “When I was Governor, I worked with VCU President Eugene Trani in establishing the BioTech Park which has clearly served as testament for those who have long believed that Richmond’s Downtown area is indeed able to attract quality business enterprises such as this.”