The Leader staff
Federal investment in Valor glass will lead to 94 new jobs at Big Flats plant
A Corning Inc. product has been selected as a key part of the federal response to COVID-19, bringing a $204 million government investment and reportedly leading to the addition of 94 jobs at the company’s Big Flats facility.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, announced the federal investment Tuesday.
The plan is to package vaccines and other critical drugs in Corning’s Valor glass, which was selected for use by the federal government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).
“We’re delighted that BARDA has selected Corning as a packaging provider for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments,” said Corning Inc. Chairman and CEO Wendell P. Weeks in a press release. “Our Valor Glass provides the strongest, fastest to fill, and highest-quality pharmaceutical glass vials ever produced. It helps protect patients and addresses existing bottlenecks. Corning is ready to do our part in the fight against the pandemic as well as to help prepare for future public health emergencies.”
At the White House in 2017, Corning joined Merck and Pfizer to announce a Valor Glass collaboration focused on modernizing pharmaceutical glass packaging, company officials noted. Through investment in Valor Glass manufacturing capacity under Operation Warp Speed, the federal government will strengthen the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain by directly addressing existing constraints and shortages.
Brendan Mosher, vice president and general manager of Corning Pharmaceutical Technologies, said Valor was developed to meet these kinds of high-capacity emergency needs, along with more standard pharmaceutical packaging applications.
“Valor Glass sets a new standard for quality and performance in pharmaceutical packaging,” Mosher said. “It is purpose-built for pharmaceuticals and is uniquely positioned to enable faster, more reliable drug manufacture and delivery – attributes that are critical to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic response.”
Schumer noted that he has pushed hard for the federal investment.
“As COVID-19 vaccines enter clinical trials with an eye toward world-wide distribution, this vital federal funding that I worked so hard to secure in the coronavirus relief bills will jumpstart the production of Corning’s unique and wonderful Valor Glass, create 94 new jobs, and provide a huge shot in the arm for the Southern Tier economy just when it is needed the most,” Schumer said.
Corning will seek to fill 60 permanent manufacturing positions immediately, with 34 more positions opening up as funding is released, according to Schumer’s office. In addition to increasing production at its local facility, Corning will be scaling up manufacturing at its Durham, North Carolina, and Vineland, New Jersey, facilities.