As Mylan Specialty, the Napa pharmaceutical manufacturer formerly known as Dey LP, prepares to close, the Napa-Lake Workforce Investment Board received a $700,000 grant to help as many as 150 laid-off employees from the manufacturing plant and other businesses find jobs.
Bruce Wilson, executive director of the Napa-Lake Workforce Investment Board, said his agency has been meeting with Mylan and other companies about the expected layoffs. He could not elaborate on Mylan’s plans for when layoffs will happen or how many employees will be laid off.
“Our target group is workers that are losing their jobs,” Wilson said. “We want to help people find jobs or retrain them if necessary.” In addition, “we want to assist companies that might be downsizing or closing,” he said.
Wilson was careful to note that the state Employment Development Department grant isn’t only for Mylan employees. Any other company that plans to lay off staff or close can take advantage of the funds, he said.
“We know they have around 200 employees at Dey right now,” Wilson said. “All of those folks would be able to take advantage of these services.”
Specific training programs can be created for former Mylan employees, Wilson said. “This is a highly skilled workforce. We will work with our career counselors and do assessments” of the staff, he said. “We can also start working with other companies that can use those skill sets and develop a training curriculum to facilitate the transition.” But first, “we need to talk to the employees and find out where they want to go,” he said.
According to the most recent figures from the Employment Development Department, there are a total of 10,900 manufacturing jobs in Napa County.
The last time the agency applied for such a grant was when Mylan laid off its first round of Napa employees in 2008, Wilson said. At that time, the agency received $900,000 in funds.
The news of the closure isn’t a surprise. In June 2012, Mylan executives announced that the plant would close completely by December 2013.
According to a 2012 interview with Michael Laffin, vice president of corporate communications at Mylan, there were 267 employees at the Napa site. A Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) announcement from August reported that 267 Mylan Specialty employees would be affected by a layoff.
Laffin could not be immediately reached for comment on Friday afternoon.
Dey was once one of Napa’s largest employers. In 2007, more than 540 employees worked at its south Napa facility in manufacturing, quality control, scientific research, business development, marketing, regulatory work and sales support.
In 2007, the business was bought by Mylan Inc. of Pittsburgh.
In 2008, Mylan announced the Napa plant would close, but in 2009 the parent company reversed course, saying it would maintain a workforce of 300 to 400 people in Napa.
Mylan Specialty has corporate offices in Basking Ridge, N.J. As of February 2012, Mylan Specialty had a total of approximately 725 employees, a news release said at the time.
Mylan Specialty develops, manufactures and markets prescription drug products for the treatment of respiratory diseases, severe allergic reactions and psychiatric disorders, according to the company website. The best-known product that Mylan Specialty markets is the EpiPen, which treats life-threatening allergic reactions. Mylan Specialty produced respiratory and nasal pharmaceutical products at the Napa plant.
Located at 2741 Napa Valley Corporate Drive, the Mylan facility includes a two-story, 78,000-square-foot structure built in 1996 and 1998.
In recent months, Napa County officials announced that the county may abandon redevelopment of the Health and Human Services Agency’s campus on Old Sonoma Road, choosing instead to buy the manufacturing facility.