Bridgeton, MO - Gov. Jay Nixon today announced that Virbac, a worldwide leader in developing, manufacturing and distributing companion animal health products, is growing its presence in the U.S. and Canada with a $37.9 million expansion in Bridgeton that will create 144 new high-paying jobs. The Governor said the expansion strengthens Missouri’s position as the leader in the animal health industry.
“Missouri’s highly-educated workforce and commitment to scientific advancement have made us the top destination for research and manufacturing in both animal health and plant science,” Gov. Nixon said. “With our unemployment rate now at just 4.2 percent, Virbac’s decision to expand and create 144 jobs here in the Show-Me State is another piece of good news for Missouri and the St. Louis region.”
One of the world’s largest laboratories dedicated exclusively to animal health, Virbac develops, manufactures and distributes a wide range of products and services intended for the prevention and treatment of common pathologies in companion animals. Virbac Corporation, located in Fort Worth, Texas, is a leading companion animal health company offering products in the heartworm, tick and flea, dermatology, antibiotic, endocrinology, senior care, behavior, critical care nutrition and oral hygiene markets.
“Virbac already has a strong foundation and partnership with Missouri and Bridgeton,” said Paul Hays, president & CEO of Virbac Corporation. “We hope to further that relationship by bringing even more research, development, manufacturing and distribution career opportunities to the area.”
Robert “Mac” MacGregor, vice president of industrial operations for Virbac Corporation, agreed.
“We feel that the work ethic of our Bridgeton employees has given Virbac the confidence that this expansion will provide opportunities for even more quality team members,” MacGregor said. “Virbac Corporation has partnered with St. Louis Community College, which developed math and science training programs for existing new hires, and it has been successful in preparing our employees for the production of new pharmaceutical products. This is an exciting time—the Bridgeton expansion project can only help our manufacturing activities and further propel our mission to shape the future of animal health.”
“We’re certainly pleased by Virbac’s decision to invest in and bring a substantial number of additional jobs to the City of Bridgeton,” Bridgeton Mayor Terry Briggs said. “The company’s decision to commit to its existing location on St. Charles Rock Road as the place to grow its business demonstrates the confidence that the corporate community has in Bridgeton, and I believe this is an indicator of great things to come.”
“Virbac’s move to consolidate its manufacturing operations here and to add 144 quality jobs speaks to the company’s confidence in St. Louis County’s skilled workforce,” said Steve Stenger, St. Louis County executive. “We continue to see real job growth in North County which bodes well for the entire region. I commend Virbac for its continued commitment to St. Louis County.”
Gov. Nixon pointed out that Missouri already is home to the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, the largest concentration of animal health companies in the world. More than half of the $88 billion global animal health industry operates in the corridor, which includes Kansas City, St. Joseph and Columbia. Some of the most prestigious animal health companies and veterinary medical training programs, including the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, make up Missouri’s growing animal health cluster.
Missouri’s thriving bioscience industry is composed of nearly 3,500 companies employing nearly 50,000 Missourians, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Forty Missouri colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees or higher in biological or biomedical sciences, and the University of Missouri is one of only a few U.S. universities offering schools of medicine, agriculture and veterinary medicine on one campus.
Earlier this month, the Missouri Department of Economic Development reported that Missouri’s unemployment rate had dropped to 4.2 percent, its lowest level since October 2000.
To assist Virbac with its expansion in Missouri, the Missouri Department of Economic Development has offered a strategic economic incentive package that the company can receive if it meets strict job creation criteria.