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Senator Clinton welcomed to North Country

ROUSES POINT The woman credited for being one of the key political figures in saving more than 800 jobs in the small village of Rouses Point has found out first-hand how appreciative the community truly is. The North Country welcomed U.S. Sen. Hillary R. Clinton, D-N.Y., with open arms at a ceremony in her honor Tuesday morning at the home of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and Akrimax Pharmaceuticals on Maple Street. The recent candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination visited with employees of both pharmaceutical firms in recognition of the announcement made earlier this year about Akrimaxs acquisition of Wyeths Rouses Point manufacturing facility. Garry F. Douglas, president of the Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce, welcomed Clinton to the event, crediting her for her role in bringing the two corporations together to shape the once uncertain future of the Wyeth manufacturing facility. According to Douglas, when Wyeth announced its anticipated closure October 2005, Clinton called almost immediately to see what she could do for the people of the North Country. The day following the announcement, a meeting was organized between the chamber of commerce, the senators staff, and representatives from Wyeth who were equally as crucial to the discussions, said Douglas to determine what could be done to salvage the impeccable workforce and high-quality facility. Clinton was asked to find a corporation who would be willing to take over the facility and recognize the value of the existing workforce. She promised to do that, said Douglas. Three months later, the phone rang again. It was Hillary Clinton who told me about a young guy named Joe Krivulka who was looking for a slightly used plant with a good workforce somewhere in the U.S. The rest is history, and its good history. Krivulka, who serves as chairman of the board of directors and co-founder of Akrimax Pharmaceuticals, was joined by his partner and co-founder, Leonard L. Mazur, who both credited Clinton and the chamber of commerce for facilitating the connection that showed Akrimax the value of the Wyeth facility and its people. It was all based on the legacy of excellence in manufacturing quality control that is here at Rouses Point, said Krivulka. We stressed to Senator Clinton earlier today that the only reasons we were interested were the people that are here. The average length of an employ stay here at this facility is 14 years. This facility has had 70 years worth of history of quality manufacturing that is second to none in the industry. During her address, the senator further commended Wyeth and Akrimax for their partnership, focusing particularly on Wyeths exemplary record. This workforce is of such high quality. FDA inspections are clean and clear, not a single problem. That doesnt happen in most places, Clinton said. I might have been an advocate or a marketer, as Garry said, but I couldnt have done that if I didnt have a great product to sell. It was the people and the quality and the work ethic right here in the North Country, and in particular, Clinton County. During the ceremony, Clinton joined Douglas in thanking the people of Wyeth, in particular, managing director David F. Champagne III, for being great partners during the transition process. Make no mistake, said Douglas, a different company with a different culture in this same situation would not have come to the happy result we came to here. Its rare that Ive been able to see a company like Wyeth fulfill its obligations to the community, said Clinton. Too many companies dont have that ethic and I really applaud Wyeth for being a part of making this transition possible. We stand here today with a person directly responsible for this happy ending, Mayor George A. Rivers said of the senator. Senator Clinton, Im so glad you could join us here today so all of Rouses Point and Clinton County could say thank you in person. We owe you a huge debt of gratitude. As a result of your efforts, a bright, new day has dawned in Rouses Point.

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