Seward Fights To Rescue Greene County Jobs

James L. Seward

November 17, 2009

Photo:  Senator Seward arrives at Stiefel Labs, Oak Hill for a meeting on the plant's future in Greene County

The Daily Mail
By Hillary Hawke

DURHAM — Stiefel’s representatives and regional lawmakers met on Monday in a session closed to the public about parent company GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) stunningly unexpected announcement on Nov. 11 to close the Oak Hill site and phase out 262 positions.

Initiated by the Greene County Industrial Development Agency, the purpose of the meeting was to preserve “the Oak Hill, Greene County location for pharmaceutical manufacturing” and save “the critically needed jobs.”

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“I was as stunned as anyone to learn recently of the announced closing of Stiefel Labs, Oak Hill. The productive workforce combined with state of the art equipment and facility make this an attractive location and one that has been part of the local landscape for generations.

“Today I joined with other federal, state and local stakeholders to discuss the future of this long-standing Greene County employer. This was not a wake, but rather the beginning of a process to hopefully save over 250 jobs.

“We must first find out what it will take to continue a role for the Oak Hill plant in GlaxoSmithKline’s future plans. I will then work to bring whatever resources are needed to bear to make the vision a reality.

“The good news is time is on our side. With the closure not slated to take place until 2012 we are not faced with an immediate deadline, though we will be moving forward in a timely fashion.

“We have just begun to fight for these jobs.”