Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

MichBio to provide matchmaking for Pfizer (un)employees

24. January 2007 • Murph
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Life science industry association MichBio put out a call today for Michigan companies to submit information on current or expected job openings, with the intent of serving as a clearinghouse for Pfizer employees seeking to remain in the State.

A call for action to retain Michigan’s bio-talent is vital in response to Monday’s announcement that Pfizer will close all human health R&D operations in Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo. MichBio is working with Pfizer, the Governor, other state and local officials and agencies, as well as our members to provide leadership and assistance in this effort. We hope we can count on your support as well.

MichBio announced this morning (see press release below) that we will accept resumes from soon-to-be displaced Pfizer employees seeking Michigan-based employment. If your company has current and/or planned openings, please help us by forwarding information about the postings, including specific job descriptions if available, to MichBio will provide matchmaking support.

We have a unique opportunity to retain the best and brightest in Michigan’s life sciences workforce while preserving a vibrant life sciences industry. Thank you in advance for your help and support.

Stephen T. Rapundalo
Executive Director

An article in the Detroit News notes that Pfizer is only a fraction of southeast Michigan’s life sciences sector, which employed 34,510 people in 2004. The News cites opinions both locally and nationally that Pfizer’s exit may not overly diminish Michigan’s life science industry:

Michigan’s strategy to encourage departing Pfizer workers to become entrepreneurs is a sound one, [Kelly Gillespie, executive director of the Missouri Biotechnology Association] said.

“Every time we have seen layoffs here from the biotech industry, we usually see an increased number of startups,” he said. “That’s why we’ve followed the model of Kalamazoo and supported incubators.”

Gillespie is referring to Kalamazoo’s efforts to retain skilled scientists and engineers when Pfizer and its predecessors announced previous layoffs.

An article in today’s Ann Arbor News catalogs the experience of other communities in dealing with Pfizer departures, and discusses the future of Ann Arbor’s facility.