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Novartis Decision To Close Was Unexpected

Rockland County Executive Ed Day speaks about Novartis.
Rockland County Executive Ed Day speaks about Novartis.

Rockland County Executive Ed Day said Novartis’ decision to close was a surprise to county economic development officials. He said they are already moving beyond that and reaching out to companies that might be interested in the Suffern site. 

“We’re looking to see if we have any potential people, companies to come in,” said Day on Thursday. 

Novartis announced on Tuesday it was closing its Suffern plant, which employs 525 workers, of whom 280 are New York residents. The shutdown will begin within months and take two to three years. The facility produces Diovan whose patent expired several years ago.

Day said neither the Rockland Economic Development Corporation nor Rockland County Industrial Development Agency had any prior knowledge of Novartis’ plans. He said the company had made its decision a while ago. Day said he had not yet spoken with Suffern’s mayor. 

“We’re going to move forward and we’re going to do our best to ensure that we have a ratable there,” he said. 

ADK January 24, 2014 at 10:31 AM
Exactly BF... If this is one of the most important businesses in Rckland how could they NOT know? In my opinion, these agencies spend too much time giving speeches and man of the year awards and not nearly enough time understanding the business climate, both for existing and potential companies.
ADK January 24, 2014 at 11:47 AM
BF ill tell you a little story that should explain the REDC well... 2 years ago I was contacted by a friend who told me the head job at the REDC was open and urged me to consider it...I have lived in Rockland for 45 years, have led multimillion dollar companies, relocated a couple and am an acknowledged expert how to approach, attract and sell to major corporations. (Please don't take this as bragging, just listing credentials). On my own, I contacted and had meetings with: the county executive, Harriet Cornell and John Grant jr, 4 of the 5 town supervisors, the head of ARC and 3-5 prominent Rockland business leaders,as well as 3 members of the REDC board where I discussed my qualifications and took them through my written proposal for how the REDC should operate, how to measure success as well as a full financial proposal and a plan to market the old Lederle property as a center of science excellence to major Universities. I was never granted an interview! Instead, they hired a man born and raised from ORANGE COUNTY, well known in Orange County politics who was a career public services bureaucrat who did not move to Rockland. As my grandmother told me: how you lie down is how you get up. I didn't need the job, it felt that I could help... Until,and unless we change who we entrust for these major positions, and take politics and patronage out of the equation, we will be doomed to failure.
ADK January 24, 2014 at 02:01 PM
the challenge is that the compensation needed to attract the right people is at odds with current thinking...positions like these, where success can be objectively measured, require a pay for performance approach. I know Ed Day very well and respect him immensely, but Im not sure that an $85,000 salary will attract a large pool of qualified candidates...there are administrative assistants and mid level staffers throughout towm and county government, with no way to affect the "bottom line" that make significantly more...
Pat Godfrey January 24, 2014 at 02:58 PM
This announcement is devastating. Businesses are leaving left and right because they can do the same business in other states for a lot less. That is the reality. Our taxes are to high and is chasing businesses away. How is the county going to recover the lost taxes from theses businesses leaving? Simple, do what they always do, raise the residents taxes.
Bob January 26, 2014 at 12:45 AM
EXCELLENT location for the chicken slaughter house!

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