“The biggest growth in quality of life in a downtown in decades.”
ST. ALBANS CITY — State and local officials were on hand Wednesday for the official ribbon cutting of Mylan Technologies, Inc.’s new three-story building on Lake Street.
The project, which received $4.2 million in incentives from the Vermont Economic Progress Council (VEPC), added more than 150 jobs to the 8.2-acre campus.
The new 83,400-square-foot facility officially opened yesterday is just one part of the company’s expansion plans. The St. Albans facility is now 390,000 square feet.
Mylan CEO Heather Bresch spoke of the company’s intent to double the size of its workforce within five years. The company already has doubled the size of its St. Albans staff, including a much smaller facility in Swanton, total employment is about 600 people.
Mylan is a Fortune 500 company selling pharmaceuticals in more than 140 countries and employing 20,000 people worldwide. One out of every 11 prescriptions in the U.S. is filled with a Mylan product and 40 percent of AIDS patients in the developing world are treated with Mylan drugs.
The company has 40 manufacturing sites around the world.
Mylan President Rajiv Malik called the St. Albans facility a key site for the company. “This is a crown jewel because of the people, the work ethic these people have,” he said.
Because of the quality of the staff and leadership at the facility, “it’s easy to keep on investing,” Malick said, pointing across the street to the current state office building on Houghton Street.
The state has agreed to sell the building to Mylan, which plans to add another 100 employees.
The plan is to construct a new state office building on Federal Street. The city already has begun demolition of a former tavern building at the site. On Tuesday, St. Albans City voters will go to the polls to vote on the construction of a $13 million parking garage to provide parking for that new building and the downtown district in general.
Bresch echoed Malik’s comments about the quality of the St. Albans workforce. “It’s that passion and commitment you can’t find on a spreadsheet,” she said of the workers here.
Gov. Peter Shumlin also praised the workers at Mylan. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart as your governor,” he said to the staff. “You make me proud. You make us proud.”
Shumlin also spoke of the importance of public private partnerships in projects such as this, pointing to city officials who worked with Mylan, as well as his own Agency of Commerce.
Mylan was able to get through the Act 250 permit process in just 28 days with assistance from the agency. “You just don’t find people willing to bend over backwards and make it happen,” Bresch said.
The Mylan expansion is a key part of the city’s revitalization efforts. Taxes on the company’s current and planned expansions are going into the city’s tax increment financing fund, which will be used to pay for improvements to public infrastructure, including the proposed parking garage and a small portion of the nearly completed downtown streetscape project.
Shumlin called the improvements, “The biggest growth in quality of life in a downtown in decades.”
John Hango, manager of the St. Albans facility, said Mylan is pleased to be part of the city’s downtown revitalization. “We look forward to continuing to partner with the city,” he said.
Mylan purchased the Lake Street facility from Bertek in 1993. At the time, it was primarily a label making plant, said Bresch.
The company still makes labels at the former Bertek site in Swanton, but in St. Albans Mylan makes transdermal pharmaceutical patches, which deliver medications to patients through their skin.
The patches are sold in Canada, Europe, New Zealand, Australia and Japan, said Hango.