(Photo courtesy PurePenn LLC, via Facebook.)
The company that has just been awarded a license to produce medical cannabis in McKeesport will hold a job fair for potential employees on July 27.
PurePenn LLC is purchasing five acres in the industrial park along the city's Monongahela River waterfront to construct a growing facility and laboratory. The company is one of 12 statewide that were awarded licenses to produce medicinal cannabis, or marijuana, to potentially treat conditions ranging from glaucoma to chronic pain to lack of appetite caused by the effects of chemotherapy.
The job fair will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Palisades ballroom, corner of Fifth and Water streets, Downtown, next to the McKees Point Marina. The company expects to hire 25 people to begin operations within the next six months.
"PurePenn is very committed to being involved in this community," Mayor Mike Cherepko said. "They are committed to finding workers from within the city of McKeesport, as well as veterans. It's a great opportunity for our residents."
PurePenn will train all of its workers at an existing medical marijuana facility in Nevada, said Gabe Perlow, the company's chief executive officer.
Outside training --- such as that being offered by a variety of companies via advertisements in local newspapers and the Internet --- is not recommended or necessary, Cherepko said.
Perlow, who attended Wednesday's city council meeting to thank McKeesport officials and residents again for their support, noted that there was strong competition for the 12 licenses granted by the state Department of Health.
"None of this would have been possible without this council, Mayor Cherepko, the planning commission and the residents of McKeesport," Perlow said. "Showing the state that we had unanimous approval and the backing of the city, I think, put us over the edge."
Previous experience is not required, Perlow said in an interview last month, and the company is looking for employees with a wide range of skills, from entry-level positions to those with chemistry and biology degrees. The company hopes, eventually, to have 75 to 100 employees in McKeesport.
In addition to hiring local residents, PurePenn will create a "McKeesport community fund" to support city neighborhoods and schools, the company said. The fund will be overseen by "residents and stakeholders" to use "as they deem fit."
Originally published July 06, 2017.