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Morgantown Area Partnership leads effort for Viatris employees

The Morgantown Area Partnership is spearheading a joint effort to reach out to Viatris employees who will lose their jobs this summer when the Chestnut Ridge Road plant is closed.

Viatris, which completed its merger with Mylan Pharmaceuticals in mid-November, said earlier this month it was closing its Morgantown plant in July, a move that will result in 1,500 people losing their jobs. Viatris was formed when Mylan merged with Pfizer’s Upjohn Division.

Russ Rogerson, president and CEO of the Morgantown Area Partnership, said his organization is heading a community effort to help displaced workers in a timely fashion. 

“The task force is an informal, inclusive group of elected, educational and private sector leaders coming together to coordinate and collaborate on the specific items that need to be addressed related to the Viatris plant closing announcement,” Rogerson said in an email. 

Members of the task force include: Monongalia County Schools, the Monongalia County Commission, West Virginia University, the city of Morgantown, the state Legislature, the Mon Health and the Partnership board of directors. The United Steelworkers, the area Congressional delegation, and the state Development Office are also assisting. 

Rogerson said the goals of the task force at this time include:

  • Coordination and collaboration among multiple government and private members.
  • Identify specific ways to bring job assistance and training to impacted employees and their families. 
  • Work with the company to understand potential reuses of the facility and market it to potential users.
  • Work with the company to support  its  ongoing efforts and its remaining workforce in research and development and other areas.

The task force held its first meeting earlier this month and others are expected to join the effort as work continues.

“The level of interest, compassion and participation shown by the participants has been great,” Rogerson said. “They exemplify that the collaborative, can-do attitude of our community is strong.”

The Chestnut Ridge plant makes oral solid dose medications and is one of  five Viatris facilities targeted for downsizing or closing.

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