Merck expanding – again – in Rockingham

Story by Chris Graham

It was big news last year when Merck announced that it was spending $57 million to expand its operations in Rockingham County.
The bigger news this week is that the pharmaceutical maker is committing $193 million to further expand its operations in Elkton – adding 70 more jobs to the employee base.

The Elkton facility currently employs 700 people – with an annual payroll of $60 million.

“It is remarkable that Merck will invest another $193 million just six months after its last expansion announcement,” Gov. Tim Kaine said in a statement yesterday. “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.”

The state is kicking in up to $1.5 million in performance-based grants to go toward the expansion project.

The Virginia Department of Business Assistance is also going to be involved – providing 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,” Rockingham Board of Supervisors chairman William B. Kyger, said.

“This investment will further strengthen our local economy and enhance the presence of one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies in our community,” Kyger said.

(Originally published 06-05-07)

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