Pfizer to Hire Up to 400 in Michigan for 2018


Pfizer is planning to hire 200 new staffers and another 200 replacement workers in Michigan.

The jobs will be with its pharmaceutical manufacturing facility, Pfizer Global Manufacturing, which manufactures active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) that are used to make drugs. Most of the formulations made at that site are used in sterile injectable drugs.

“There are 200 new budgeted positions for 2018,” Robert Betzig, site leader of Pfizer Global Supply in Portage, told MLive. “But if you think of a site our size, 2,300 colleagues, and think of the Baby Boom wave coming through, these are colleagues who will be retiring. We’re probably talking another 200. That’s what we’re thinking. … So 200 new (positions), plus 200 replacements. You’re probably really talking about 400.”

Betzig also indicates that they are the largest producer of steroids globally. The site will be looking for production operators, skilled trades people, such as instrument technicians, heating, air condition and refrigeration (HVAC/R) mechanics, engineers, project managers, and quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) professionals.

Betzig told MLive that for production operators, “We have an apprenticeship program for that. So they go through an apprenticeship program. Those are entry-level positions where they come in.”

Production operators run the manufacturing injectable product filling equipment and packaging lines, including chemical operators.

Betzig indicates that its greatest need is for qualified candidates “who can fill my operator positions and my apprenticeships for skilled trades as well. I need them coming in. … And I need my contractors to have the same.”

The company’s chairman and chief executive officer, Ian Read, recently said he was considering selling Pfizer’s Consumer Healthcare business, or possibly spinning it off. The division has at least five major categories: dietary supplements, pain management, gastrointestinal, respiratory and personal care. Brand name products include Centrum, Caltrate, Emergen-C, Thermacare, Nexium 24 Hour, Robittusin, ChapStick and Anbesol.

In a statement in October, Read said, “Pfizer Consumer Healthcare is a leading player in the largest OTC categories, with iconic brands, robust retail partnerships, global reach and strong fundamentals. Although there is a strong connection between Consumer Healthcare and elements of our core biopharmaceutical businesses, it is also distinct enough from our core business that there is potential for its value to be more fully realized outside the company. By exploring strategic options, we can evaluate how best to fuel the future success and expansion of Consumer Healthcare while simultaneously unlocking potential value for our shareholders.”

There were hints that UK’s GlaxoSmithKline might be interested, but there hasn’t appeared to be much movement since those rumors. Analysts project that Pfizer Consumer Healthcare would cost about $15 billion, possibly more.

Pfizer has 63 manufacturing sites worldwide, including the Portage, Mich. site. The company is investing $42 million in a 98,000-square-foot climate-controlled warehouse at its Portage location, with 12,000 pallet spaces for raw materials, work in progress, and finished goods. The company’s plans are to use that warehouse space to move materials out of the main building to free up space and build a new manufacturing center for its Act-O-Vial product. Act-O-Vial is used by paramedics as a quick-injection device.

Pfizer is investing $108 million in the Act-O-Vile program, and a new Act-O-Vial Work Center is expected to take five years, currently in its second year. Plans are to have it open and running in 2020 or 2021.

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