FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 04, 2007

Kevin Hall
www.governor.virginia.gov


Jim Russell or Connie Wickersham
Merck & Co., Inc.
540-298-4120 (Russell) 215-652-0960 (Wickersham)
Christie Miller
VEDP
(804) 545-5805
GOVERNOR KAINE ANNOUNCES 70 NEW JOBS FOR ROCKINGHAM COUNTY
-Merck announces second expansion in six months -


RICHMOND - Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced that Merck & Co., Inc. will invest an additional $193 million to expand its Elkton facility, further enhancing production capabilities for the pharmaceutical company’s medicines and vaccines. The project is expected to create 70 new jobs at the facility. Last December, Merck announced a $57 million expansion at the Elkton facility, which was established in 1941.

“It is remarkable that Merck will invest another $193 million just six months after its last expansion announcement,” said Governor Kaine. “The company has experienced great success over many years at its Rockingham County location, and this latest expansion will help to solidify its presence as one of Virginia’s leading manufacturers.”

Merck, headquartered in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, is a global pharmaceutical company. Established in 1891, Merck currently discovers, develops, manufactures, and markets vaccines and medicines. The company’s Elkton facility employs more than 700 people with a $60 million annual payroll. The facility was first opened in 1941, and is one of seven Merck manufacturing plants in the continental United States.

“It’s critical that Merck has sufficient production capacity to meet growing worldwide demand for its medicines and vaccines,” said Dr. Charles Vencill, plant manager. “We appreciate the ongoing support of the Kaine administration and local officials to make this additional expansion possible.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Rockingham County and Shenandoah Valley Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. Merck qualifies for a $1,500,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training assistance through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“This latest investment by Merck shows a strong commitment to Rockingham County and the Shenandoah Valley as a strategic business location,” said Rockingham Board of Supervisors’ Chairman William B. Kyger, Jr. “This investment will further strengthen our local economy and enhance the presence of one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies in our community.”

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