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Petersburg Celebrates Plant Reopening Amid High Unemployment

Petersburg city leaders celebrated the reopening of a chemical plant Monday.  They’re hoping it will help a city that is struggling with high unemployment.

AMPAC Fine Chemicals will produce active ingredients for drugs used to treat cancer, HIV and other serious illnesses.

Petersburg city manager Aretha Ferrell-Benavides is grateful for the tax revenue that the plant will bring the city.

“It also brings a new workforce. As we start to look at who we are as the city of Petersburg, we recognize that we are going to have to diversify our opportunities. High-tech opportunities are the future,” she says.

Ferrell-Benavides says the plant will employ over 200 people in the next two years.

She expects that it will also attract development from distributors and other companies that work closely with AMPAC.

City leaders hope the plant will help make a dent in the city’s unemployment, which stood at 6 % in January of this year -- around double the statewide average.

*This story was produced by WCVE News intern Patrick Larsen.

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