Pitt County’s economy will see 290 new jobs and an investment of $ 154 million thanks to another expansion of Thermo Fisher Scientific, Governor Roy Cooper and local leaders said Tuesday.
The expansion of the company’s pharmaceutical manufacturing operations in Greenville comes in addition to a $ 500 million project announced in December 2020 that was expected to create 500 jobs. Brad Hufford, vice president of business development for the Greenville ENC Alliance, said the new expansion would result in an annual increase of $ 19.2 million in the region’s annual payroll.
“These are just salaries,” Hufford said. “It is not even the tax base that will be increased with this investment. These paychecks that the workers will receive are having a huge ripple effect in the communities of the region. “
The project will expand the company’s sterile production capabilities, providing more space for sterile liquids and freeze-dried pharmaceuticals, Hufford said. A continuous manufacturing suite will also be added on the oral-solid production side. The expansion will partially use a new 130,000 square foot facility on the Greenville campus, allowing new employees to fill a variety of roles.
“When the company makes such a big investment, it’s not just the front-line operators on the line, but a ton of support staff as well who make this work work,” Hufford said. “You will also see factory supervisors and roles for packaging as well as material handling. Not all of these jobs will require graduate degrees. There will be plenty of jobs for those who are graduating from high school or taking training at one of our community colleges.
The state Department of Commerce has led efforts to support the expansion, a statement from the governor’s office said Tuesday, and annual salaries are expected to be 50% higher than the county’s overall annual salary of $ 42,801. Pitt.
“The continued growth in the capabilities and capabilities of our Greenville site has enabled us to meet the needs of our customers and the patients they serve,” said Michel Lagarde, executive vice president of Thermo Fisher Scientific. “This new investment will enable new capacities for innovation and development to meet the accelerated demand for critical drugs and therapies. We also look forward to continued job creation and economic development in this region.
The company employs people from more than 25 counties, according to Hufford. Its Greenville site provides both manufacturing and packaging services for sterile and oral pharmaceuticals from initial development through commercial phase. As one of Thermo Fisher Scientific’s largest sites and the largest industrial employer in Pitt County, the Greenville campus currently employs approximately 1,800 and occupies 1.5 million square feet on 142 acres.
The state’s economic investment committee on Tuesday morning approved a 12-year Employment Development Investment Grant (JDIG) under the project, which will authorize up to $ 4.5 million in reimbursement to the company over 12 years. The JDIG will require the company to meet the goals of job creation and additional investment, as reviewed by the Departments of Commerce and Revenue.
Economists from the Department of Commerce estimate that the project will grow the state’s economy by more than $ 977 million over the same period.
The process was competitive. Hufford said Thermo Fisher Scientific has examined their locations around the world to determine where an investment could be made. Mayor PJ Connelly, in a Greenville ENC Alliance statement on Tuesday, said Greenville’s victory was indicative of the city’s economic condition.
“After competing globally, our community has come out on top because we have the workforce, the business climate and the resources to meet their growth needs. “
Cooper said the announcement speaks to the state’s reputation as a hub for the life sciences industry.
“With our skilled workforce, strong collaboration with industry and an innovative business climate, this decision proves, once again, that North Carolina’s biotech industry is thriving statewide. “Cooper said.
“The strength of our life sciences industry is evident through Thermo Fisher’s increased investment in eastern North Carolina,” said Secretary of State for Commerce Machelle Baker Sanders. “North Carolina is home to a diverse life sciences workforce and world-class universities and community colleges, which develop the nation’s best and brightest talent. We will continue to help growing innovators improve the lives of North Carolinians and our global community for generations to come. “
About $ 503,000 of JDIG will go to the Industrial Development Fund-State Utilities Account, which helps rural communities finance infrastructure upgrades needed to attract future businesses.
Pitt County state lawmakers see the investment as a way to continue to establish the region’s footprint in life sciences, especially the ‘biopharmaceuticals growing’ of Pitt, Edgecombe, Wilson, Counties. Johnston and Nash.
“These additional, well-paying jobs are welcome news for our community,” said State Senator Don Davis. “North Carolina’s pharmaceutical manufacturing workforce is the third largest in the country, and I can assure you that eastern North Carolina has the talent to support the company’s future innovation. . “
“Our region is experiencing strong growth in the life sciences and that is thanks to multi-million dollar investments from companies like Thermo Fisher,” said State Representative Brian Farkas. “We are committed to partnering with Thermo Fisher, locally and state level, as they embark on this exciting new phase of growth and continue to make Pitt County their home. “
The region’s higher education institutions, Pitt Community College and East Carolina University, acted as key partners in the project. Hufford said the success of ECU and PCC, as well as their talent pool, are major strengths. He said higher education institutions’ commitment to growth was visible in ECU’s new Center for Life Sciences and Biotechnology, a $ 90 million investment from the university, which is expected to be completed on October 18.
Other key project partners include the North Carolina General Assembly, State Community College System, North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Pitt County, Pitt County Economic Development, City of Greenville, Greenville ENC Alliance and Greenville Utilities.
The City of Greenville, the Greenville ENC Alliance and the NC Biotechnology Center will also provide grants in support of Thermo Fisher’s latest expansion.
“As Thermo Fisher grows, Pitt County grows,” said Kelly Andrews, economic development manager for Pitt County. “We are working with Thermo Fisher and many partners to improve our biopharmaceutical support network, which has grown over decades and is unique in this region. “