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Bill Freehling is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and Fredericksburg.com. This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Bill Freehling.

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McKesson unveils new Caroline plant

The new plant

McKesson Corp. on Tuesday publicly unveiled a $50-million-plus Caroline County distribution facility that was at least five years in the making.

The San Francisco-based pharmaceutical and healthcare company on Tuesday welcomed state and local officials into its 340,000-square-foot distribution center just off Interstate 95 in the Carmel Church area.

The plant features state-of-the-art equipment that allows workers to process the vast array of healthcare products McKesson distributes to drug stores, hospitals, nursing homes and more.

About 120 people work at the plant, and that’s expected to ramp up to 150 over time. The tightly secured facility runs around-the-clock, with the busiest time at night.

The plant opened late last year, but Tuesday marked the ceremonial opening. Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling gave the keynote address.

“This is the fun part of the job,” said Bolling, who perhaps only half-jokingly urged McKesson officials to relocate its headquarters from California to the Old Dominion.

Bolling pointed out that most economic development announcements of late have involved less than half of the jobs McKesson brought to Caroline. He told company officials he was grateful for their investment in Virginia and Caroline.

McKesson started working with the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance and economic development officials from area localities about five years ago to scout out the best location for the plant; Caroline ultimately won out. Caroline’s Board of Supervisors provided up to $460,000 in incentives and infrastructure improvements for the plant.

Caroline officials hope the infrastructure work completed for the facility will attract other corporate investments near the plant, which is in the Caroline Commerce Center across State Route 207 from the county’s visitor center.

“Thank you for choosing Caroline,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Wayne Acors told McKesson officials Tuesday.

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