DURHAM COUNTY, N.C. -- Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co. will build a new manufacturing facility in North Carolina, generating over 460 new jobs, officials announced Tuesday.
Gov. Roy Cooper and company CEO David Ricks spoke at a news conference to unveil the $470 million investment in the Durham County portion of Research Triangle Park.
"Life science companies like Lilly continue to choose North Carolina," Cooper said in a release from his office. "Our exceptional workforce draws global companies as we continue to grow North Carolina into a worldwide hub for the biotechnology industry."
Average pay for the new jobs at the plant - which in part will produce injectable drugs to treat diabetes - will exceed $72,000, according to Cooper's office and the state Commerce Department. Wages for entry-level positions will have starting salaries of at least $49,000.
The jobs, to be created by 2027, will include scientists, engineers and plant operators.
"Two of the reasons that this project was so highly sought-after is related to the types of jobs included and the reputation of the company offering them," said Durham County Economic Development Officer Andy Miracle. "Roughly half of the positions will only require an associate's or vocational degree with starting wages of approximately $50,000 and the opportunity to start a career in advanced manufacturing. On top of that, is the chance to work for a company that is both manufacturing medicines for people with serious illnesses like diabetes, as well as, developing new medicines."
Lilly, based in Indianapolis, could receive $8.7 million from the state over 12 years if it meets job-creation and investment goals. A state panel approved the incentives agreement earlier Tuesday. Durham County and the state community college system also provided financial sweeteners.
North Carolina was competing with Indianapolis and Philadelphia for the plant, according to the Commerce Department.
"This next-generation manufacturing facility will allow us to expand our capacity to make the Lilly medicines that are helping people with serious illnesses today, and help us prepare for new medicines coming from our robust pipeline in the future," Ricks said. "In the past two years, we have invested billions of capital in new U.S.-based manufacturing because the 2017 tax reform rebalanced the playing field in favor of the American worker. We're excited to be bringing more of these high-skill, high-wage advanced manufacturing jobs to North Carolina."
Lilly already has plants in Indiana, New Jersey and Puerto Rico.