GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The challenge of finding qualified workers is forcing Perrigo to alter its plans in downtown Grand Rapids.

On Tuesday, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Strategic Fund Board approved changing some requirements for a $2 million business development project grant the board awarded Perrigo in October 2020.

The board agreed to reduce Perrigo’s base level of employment from 4,170 workers to 4,124 workers. Perrigo said it needed fewer employees because it is shifting away from prescription drugs to focus on health and wellness products.

Perrigo will also get an extra year to reach its required milestones because it “continues to suffer from high turnover and difficulty matching its needs with the talent pipeline,” an MEDC memo states.

Perrigo is expected to invest nearly $45 million over the next 15 years and is expected to create between 144 and 170 high-paying jobs. But according to the MEDC document dated for Tuesday, Sept. 27, the company had 318 job openings.

Perrigo says it’s working with local agencies to help in the hiring process. Under the new agreement, it must create at least 50 jobs by June 30, 2023, another 40 jobs by June 30, 2024, and the remaining 54 to 80 jobs by June 30, 2025, to receive the full $2 million grant.

“(Perrigo) feels that with more time, and as the job market begins to return to normal, that it will be able to fulfill its commitment of creating 400 well-paying jobs in Region 4,” the MEDC memo states.

Perrigo celebrated the completion of its North American headquarters in Grand Rapids in June, just over a year after breaking ground on the project. The facility houses Perrigo’s executive leadership team, as well as administrative, finance, IT and marketing staff.

Perrigo agreed to a 15-year lease for the new 60,000 square-foot facility at 430 Monroe Ave. NW, near the corner of Michigan Street. Grand Rapids city commissioners approved a 12-year property tax break for the site early last year.