Winchester Star: Comstock Tours Science Manufacturer
MIDDLETOWN — U.S. Representative Barbara Comstock, R-10th, toured Thermo Fisher Scientific clinical diagnostics facility just south of Middletown on Monday afternoon.The company completed a 30,000-square-foot expansion of its facility in spring 2015 — an undertaking that cost $10 million. The company boasts that it is the world leader in serving science, with more than 50,000 employees in 50 countries.
"It’s very exciting for me to see this kind of innovative company in the district," Comstock said. "I love coming out and being able to visit and meet everybody in the field and see what we can be doing to improve the innovation economy."
The facility is a manufacturing site for in vitro diagnostic testing instruments, which are used to detect diseases, infections and other conditions. The 325,000-square-foot building is located on 18 acres at 8365 Valley Pike. The site employs about 325.
Comstock praised the company’s job creation, and said medical innovation is a growing business that America needs to shepherd. According to Comstock, one issue hindering innovation and economic growth is burdensome regulations.
"The workplace needs flexibility so they can respond to the needs of their employees," Comstock said. "We can’t have a one-size-fits-all labor regulation come down and then force a company to apply it to their 325 employees who may have very different work needs and lifestyle needs."
Lowering the corporate tax rate is another of Comstock’s goals. "We have the highest ... rate in the world and that is why companies are leaving," she said.
Thermo Fisher collaborated with Lord Fairfax Community College and the U.S. Department of Labor this year to create a manufacturing technician certification program. It also implemented a four-year maintenance apprenticeship program through the DOL to promote education and training for the next generation of maintenance technicians.