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Posted September 24, 2012 | comments 2 Comments

Health care firm to build facility

Distribution center in Frederick County to employ more than 200

By Alex Bridges -- abridges@nvdaily.com

A Fortune 500 health care and information technology firm plans to build a distribution center in Frederick County and create more than 200 new jobs.

The Winchester-Frederick County Economic Development Commission and Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Monday that McKesson Corporation will invest $36.9 million in locating the firm's medical-surgical business unit, according to a joint press release. McKesson will build a new facility on land along Martinsburg Pike (U.S. 11) northeast of the Interstate 81 exit at Clear Brook, according to EDC Director Patrick Barker.

"They should be up and running by this time next year," Barker said Monday.

The firm will distribute medical and surgical supplies to physician offices, surgery centers, long-term care facilities and home care businesses from the operation to a regional service area that includes Virginia, eastern West Virginia, New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and northern North Carolina, a release from the governor's office states.

McKesson, ranked 14th on the Fortune 500, operates as a health care services and information technology company. Its medical-surgical business unit delivers more than 150,000 healthcare products, equipment and technology, and partners with more than 300,000 customers.

The facility will add 205 new jobs to the area, according to Barker.

The EDC and Frederick County worked with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to secure the project for the state and McDonnell approved a $150,000 grant through the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist the locality. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance plans to provide funding and services to support the company's recruitment, training and retraining efforts, according to the release.

McKesson already put Frederick County in its radar and researched sites before seeking out state and local economic development officials.

"They knew where they needed to be from a logistical standpoint for their in-customer base and such," Barker said. "I mean they did their homework well in advance."

Firms looking to expand or relocate traditionally scope out many locations and involve state and local economic development agencies early in that process.

"It was a very different project," Barker said, adding that it's kind of like "the way some projects are shaping ... so much of the client's homework and background is done before they engage the state and the locality and this one, in fact, they already had the communities where they wanted to go narrowed down and already had a small final list of sites under consideration. So it was very much kind of in the finalist stage by the time they engaged us."

The firm will have to build a new facility and land, for such construction remains at a premium in Frederick County, according to Barker. The site lies in close proximity to hauling routes that lead to major markets along the East Coast.

"We get on the radar for a lot of companies," Barker said. "When you talk about distribution, we've got that reach to Northeast, MidAtlantic and Southeast market -- you can't really create that so you're given that by where you are, geography, so that really gets us in the mix in a lot of equations. It's definitely nice to have that going for us."

A firm can reach two-thirds of the United States and Canadian industrial activity within a short time from Frederick County, Barker noted.

2 Comments | Leave a comment

    I am glad to see this project coming to my neighborhood and I am sure it will generate a good amount of revenue for the county and the state. The only question I have is how anyone thinks a single 150,000 dollar grant had much influence on this decision to a huge company pouring out as much money as this project is worth. I believe that would be equivalent to buying me a happy meal to seal the deal.

    Looks like a positive for the local economy. As tough as this downturn has been. Our location with it's proximity to the D.C. area helped make this mess a little more tolerable. Sounds like our central location helped land this one. Hopefully some good families that need employment will benefit from this news.

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