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Bayer Adds 75 Jobs in PA

From Lebanon Daily News (PA) (March 13, 2011)

March 13--A decision to move all of its One A Day vitamin manufacturing for the United States to Myerstown has added about 75 jobs to Bayer's work force here.

"Our site is considered a strategic manufacturing and packaging site in the Bayer global network with significant expertise in manufacturing and packaging over-the-counter and dietary supplement products," said John Caruso, director of manufacturing, in an e-mailed response to questions posed by the Daily News. "The new state-of-the-art equipment is designed to manufacture all One A Day formulas and packaging for the U.S. market."

Those assorted One A Day products total 2.5 billion tablets a year.

Bayer now employs about 580 full-time and temporary employees in Myerstown, Caruso noted. Some of the new employees moved here from another Bayer location.

The $46 million, 130,000-square-foot expansion took two years to complete and opened in November, Caruso said.

"This transition from a third-party vendor is a huge undertaking and one that represents a 25 percent volume increase for our site," said John O'Neill, vice president for manufacturing operations, in another news release.

The recent expansion followed a "state-of-the-art" quality assurance and laboratory that was completed about three years ago.

Although the German-owned company does not anticipate any further expansion at this time, "we continue to evaluate new opportunities," Caruso said.

Bayer has operated in Myerstown since 1947. It is the exclusive North American manufacturing facility for Bayer Aspirin, producing 4.2 billion tablets annually and more than 160,000 bottles daily.

On Feb. 28, Bayer Corp. announced its total sales in North America increased 6.8 percent in 2010, to $10.8 billion, according to a company press release. North America is Bayer's second largest region, trailing Europe.

Bayer MaterialScience's North American sales increased by 31.6 percent to $2.67 billion, while Bayer HealthCare's North American sales rose by 0.7 percent to $6.16 billion and Bayer CropScience's North American sales grew by 0.4 percent to $2.02 billion.

"2010 was a strong year for Bayer in North America," Greg Babe, president and chief executive officer of Bayer Corp., said in the Feb. 28 release. "The continued economic recovery helped many of our businesses, especially those linked to key industries such as automotive and construction."

Bayer Corp., based in Pittsburgh, increased its research and development spending in North America by 21 percent last year.

Employment decreased as part of the company's global restructuring. At the end of 2010, Bayer had 16,400 employees in North America, 200 fewer than a year earlier. Bayer had 15,100 U.S. employees at the end of the year, 300 fewer than at the end of 2009.

Bayer Corp. is a subsidiary of Bayer AG, an international health care, nutrition and high-tech materials group based in Leverkusen, Germany.; 272-5611, ext. 152

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Posted: March 2011