Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Genentech gives Dixon a boost

Genentech gives Dixon a boost
By Ines Bebea/McNaughton Newspapers

DIXON — If Dixon officials approve plans to build a 140,000-square-foot Genentech research facility here, it will create 160 jobs and raise the city’s profile in the biotech industry.

The proposed facility is expected to be completed and operational by 2010. It would focus its research on oncology, immunology and disorders of tissue growth and repair.

“Dixon is an attractive location because it has available land, it is near our South San Francisco operations and it has a great pool of skilled labor,” said Caroline Pecquet, associate director of communications for Genentech.

“The majority of the positions will require degrees and experience in the bioscience industry, and Dixon’s proximity to the University of California, Davis, campus was also considered.”

Genentech already has a working research facility in Vacaville, but the Dixon facility won’t compete with its operations, Pecquet added. The Vacaville facility, which has an expansion project expected to finish in mid-2007, will continue to be a manufacturing unit.

“This type of facility will bring highly skilled and high-paying jobs to Dixon,” Dixon City Manager Warren Salmons said. “We have been aggressive over the last 10 years in bringing more jobs to our city. It is a great opportunity for our business community.”

For Dave Dowswell, Dixon’s community development director, the research facility will help attract other businesses and employers for a city of 17,179 residents.

“It will make a big difference from a planning standpoint if we have a recognizable company like Genentech in Dixon as we recruit other businesses,” Dowswell said. “I don’t see how having a company like that here would hurt, and it will also give us an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with UC Davis.”

The size of the proposed facility is similar to other existing businesses, he said. Dowswell added that he hopes the staff are hired locally from Dixon and Davis.

— Reach Ines Bebea at

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