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Corning 'immediately' creating 1,000 new jobs in US, CEO says

  • Corning plans to "immediately" invest $500 million and create 1,000 new jobs in the United States making a new glass for medical products, CEO Wendell Weeks told CNBC.
  • The initiative is a collaboration with Merck and Pfizer and was announced at a "Made in America" event with President Donald Trump on Thursday.
  • It is part of a plan to invest $4 billion and create 4,000 new jobs, Weeks said.

Corning plans to "immediately" invest $500 million and create 1,000 new American jobs making a new glass for medical products, its CEO told CNBC on Thursday.

The initiative is a collaboration with Merck and Pfizer and was announced at a "Made in America" event with President Donald Trump on Thursday.

"This is part one of a plan to invest $4 billion and create 4,000 high-tech jobs right here in the U.S.," Corning CEO Wendell Weeks said in an interview with "Closing Bell" after the announcement.

President Donald Trump, center, smiles after participating in a glass strength test of a Corning Valor vial with Wendell Weeks, chairman and chief executive officer of Corning Inc., right, during an announcement on a new pharmaceutical glass packaging initiative in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 20, 2017.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
President Donald Trump, center, smiles after participating in a glass strength test of a Corning Valor vial with Wendell Weeks, chairman and chief executive officer of Corning Inc., right, during an announcement on a new pharmaceutical glass packaging initiative in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 20, 2017.

The glass is called Valor Glass and is a "substantial improvement" in quality over existing products, he said. It has superior strength and is more damage-resistant, according to Corning.

Weeks said the companies have been working together for a number of years to improve pharmaceutical packaging.

When asked if the glass would have been produced overseas if the government hadn't been involved in the process, Weeks responded, "We probably would have taken a little more balanced approach."

He also said there were no incentives, like tax breaks, from the federal government to make the product in the U.S.

Weeks said what the Trump administration is doing is help streamline the process.

"You can't reindustrialize a major industry like this without touching the government at every level. We need our product to be approved by the FDA. We need our process to be approved by the EPA," he said.

"Then we need to work with governance both at states and international and national to make sure we are globally competitive and that's the help that the Office of American Innovation brought to us."

— CNBC's Stephen Desaulniers contributed to this report.