HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. (WTVD) -- More good-paying jobs are coming to the already booming Wake County market.
Biotechnology company Amgen will build a new biologics manufacturing facility in Holly Springs, creating 355 jobs, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday.
"World-class companies like Amgen are very selective when they evaluate business locations and they only choose places that provide the best support for their operations," Cooper said. "Today's decision proves once again that North Carolina remains a premier location for the most innovative biotech companies in the industry."
Amgen plans to invest $550 million in Wake County.
"With Amgen's reputation as one of the founding companies of the biotech revolution, it is a welcome addition to Wake County's robust biotechnology sector," said Wake County Board of Commissioners Chair Matt Calabria. "Innovative, global companies like Amgen can expand anywhere in the world, but they continue to choose Wake County because our talented work force, robust infrastructure and high quality of life are extremely attractive in today's competitive marketplace."
Amgen, which began in 1980 in Thousand Oaks, California, focuses on therapies for patients with serious illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.
It has grown to more than 24,000 employees worldwide, including more than 14,000 in the United States.
The Holly Springs plant will be a biologics drug substance manufacturing plant. It is expected to begin operating in 2025.
"Amgen is investing in a technologically-advanced drug substance plant in North Carolina to support the expected increase in demand for our medicines," said Amgen Executive Vice President of Operations Esteban Santos. "Together with the previously announced advanced packaging plant in Ohio, we have committed to investing nearly $1 billion in new manufacturing capacity in the United States."
The pay for workers will vary depending on job roles, but the aggregate average salary of the new positions is estimated at $119,510. The current average wage in Wake County is $63,966.
"It's exciting to see the industry where I spent much of my career become such a vital economic engine for our state," said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. "As the state's new First in Talent strategic plan makes clear, developing and maintaining a skilled and diverse workforce will lead to more economic growth and great decisions like Amgen's choice today."
The Holly Springs facility will support Amgen's participation as a founding member of OneTen, a coalition of many of the world's largest, best-known companies that aims collectively to hire 1 million Black Americans into well-paying jobs during the next ten years, with a specific focus on those without a four-year college degree
"Amgen is one of the world's leading independent biotech companies," said N.C. Representative Gale Adcock. "It's great to see Holly Springs and Wake County rise to the top as one of the premier locations for biomanufacturing in the world."
Arleen Paulino, Amgen Senior Vice President of Manufacturing said the company chose to operate in North Carolina "because of the robust biologics ecosystem."