Ann Arbor News reporting on the Pfizer psummit Tug-of-war on horizon over Pfizer employees?
More than 100 business, university and political leaders attended the event at the Michigan Information Technology Center to discuss the community's future without Pfizer's 2,100 jobs and its position as Ann Arbor's biggest taxpayer.
Attending the summit were elected officials such as state Sen. Liz Brater, nonprofit leaders such as Detroit Renaissance President Doug Rothwell, and education leaders including Washtenaw Community College President Larry Whitworth.
Numerous business executives also were in attendance, including Pfizer Senior Vice President David Canter, Rob Aldrich of office space developer MAV Development Co., Jan Garfinkle of life sciences venture capital firm Arboretum Ventures, and Richard Socha of software developer netXert Inc.
At a news conference, organizers of the summit, including Gov. Jennifer Granholm and University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman, sounded an optimistic tone about the future and said they were bullish about the community's response.
They formed eight action teams to encourage job growth and economic development at the Pfizer site, among other things. They said interest in the Pfizer employees and the site is high. They said they have been contacted by businesses seeking to employ Pfizer workers and companies interested in the Pfizer property, which includes 177 acres and research laboratories off Plymouth Road.
Heard over an afternoon tea: hairdressers with a lot of Pfizer clients are uncertain about their future incomes.
Pfizer employees will get a booth from the state for retraining and other efforts to get them to stick around Ann Arbor rather than relocate:
ANN ARBOR -- The state of Michigan on Monday pledged $1 million to help Pfizer workers who will lose their jobs as the drug company closes its research and development facility here.
The money will come from a fund established with federal money to help dislocated workers in regions experiencing plant closings and mass layoffs.
The Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth will allocate the money to the Washtenaw County Michigan Works! It will be used to provide outreach services including entrepreneurial training and resources to help people launch new companies.