Pharmaceutical company announces closure of Plattsburgh manufacturing plant
Plattsburgh officials say business development remains strong despite the announcement this week that a pharmaceutical company will close its manufacturing facility in October.
SterRx manufactures compounded pharmaceutical products at two facilities on the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base. The closure will affect 161 employees, who are not represented by a union. The filing with the Department of Labor says the reason for the Plattsburgh plant closure is economic.
The announcement comes after Nova Bus said June 21 that it would close its manufacturing facility in Plattsburgh by 2025, affecting 350 jobs. Republican Clinton County Legislature Chair Mark Henry doesn’t believe the closures have anything to do with the local economy.
“I think it has to do more of the global nature of both of these companies and the international pushes and pulls of business and little or nothing to do with any local issues," Henry said. "And I am an economic optimist always when it comes to this area. We have a great workforce. We have a team that are prepared to find replacements for both of these companies and to work with these companies. So I am always optimistic that we can bring a business to this area.”
SterRx is located in the Town of Plattsburgh. Supervisor Michael Cashman, a Democrat, agrees with Henry, saying the closure decisions are being made in remote boardrooms.
“Deeply saddened by the news of SterRx and deeply saddened about Nova," Cashman said. "But when you look there are some really good things that are occurring in the economy. Total square footage proposed for commercial construction that’s pending is about 521,000 square feet in the Town of Plattsburgh. We’re not a slumbery little community in the North Country. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have our challenges. But overall, there is growth and development and there’s a lot of legacy companies that’s seeing significant growth and stability.”
The North Country Chamber is working with SterRx as it winds down operations. Chamber President Garry Douglas says he met with company executives after employees learned the news.
“We began what is now a collaboration with them to see if we can manage to find a buyer for the operation within the next 90 days," Douglas said. "During which the company has committed to maintain full salary and benefits for all of the employees and while they continue intensively to look to market the company. I’m actually pleased to say, it doesn’t mean anything is going to happen, but there are a couple of visitations to the plant occurring this week and we’ve had a couple of queries from other companies wanting more information. I think that needs to be known. We all need to cross our fingers and hope that maybe, just maybe, we have a shot at avoiding full closure. But I don’t want to be rosy about this. It’s a tough challenge. It’s a short timeline to meet within 90 days and avoid an actual layoff of the employees. But it is a valuable asset and so it’s worth the effort.”
According to the North Country Chamber, Sagent, the parent company of SterRx, was recently acquired by a global pharmaceutical company that is focusing on other areas of business.