Novo Nordisk, one of Johnston County’s largest employers, announced a major expansion Wednesday afternoon. The diabetic drug maker unveiled plans at the Johnston County Workforce Development Center for a $1.2 billion manufacturing plant that will add bio-manufacturing 691 jobs in the next five years. The company currently has approximately 719 people at their existing plant on Powhatan Road near Clayton.
Officials did not announce any potential other locations that were bidding for the project. North Carolina will provide a $15.9 million Job Development Investment Grant to Novo Nordisk. Johnston County Commissioners will purchase the land for $2.2 million in exchange for the company’s commitment to add jobs. The County will recover the cost of the land purchase through property taxes on the facility.
The average wage for the new employees will be $68,420 which is nearly double the average Johnston County wage of $34,448.
Governor Pat McCrory was on hand to make the jobs announcement. “This billion-dollar decision by Novo Nordisk more than doubles the size of its North Carolina workforce and underscores the Research Triangle’s global leadership in bio-manufacturing,” said Gov. McCrory. “When it comes to life sciences and manufacturing, North Carolina can compete – and win – against any location in the world.”
“It’s an exciting day for Johnston County and an exciting new step in the mutually productive relationship we’ve had with Novo Nordisk,” said Tony Braswell, chairman of the Johnston County Board of Commissioners. He credits investments made by the county in life sciences training more than a decade ago, including the opening of the Johnston County Workforce Development Center on land donated by Novo Nordisk. The 30,000 square-foot training facility is a unique partnership between local industry, county government, Johnston County Public Schools, Johnston Community College and the Johnston County Economic Development Corporation. “The seeds of today’s announcement were planted then as the county made a visible commitment to having a cutting-edge workforce,” Braswell said. “I’m proud that Novo Nordisk has the confidence in Johnston County to make this historic investment here.”
Braswell and his fellow commissioners voted earlier Wednesday to approve a series of self-funded financial incentives to help facilitate Novo Nordisk’s $1.2 billion investment. The county will offer benefits to the company equal to $94 million over the course of 15 years, essentially reimbursing a portion of the tax-base created by the new facility. “The Board of Commissioners deserves to be commended for boldly embracing this extraordinary opportunity,” said Allen Wellons, chairman of the Johnston County Economic Development Advisory Board. “They led the way in demonstrating the county’s determination to win this game-changing project and the nearly 700 jobs that come with it.”
Clayton town leaders approved a measure offering $800,000 in support for the project. “The Town of Clayton has been the recipient of Novo Nordisk’s generosity on countless occasions, and we welcome the chance to help them grow here,” said Jody McLeod, Mayor of Clayton. Novo Nordisk employees volunteer regularly in service to educational and community causes, and the company itself made an instrumental financial contribution when town leaders sought to transform a vacant schoolhouse in downtown Clayton into a multi-purpose venue for town administration, meetings and events, and performing arts. “That project has been super-important to the Town of Clayton,” McLeod said.
“For some time, we have been evaluating several options to bring more capacity into the United States because of this great need for diabetes medicines. After a thorough evaluation of multiple sites and an extensive vetting process, Clayton ended up being our preferred location,” said Jesper Høiland, president of Novo Nordisk Inc. USA and executive vice president of Novo Nordisk A/S. “We already have a large and very professional organization here, and have been impressed by the excellent collaboration we have had with this city, county and state leadership, and appreciate the incentives they have secured in connection with this investment.”
Founded in 1923, Novo Nordisk is a leading global manufacturer of insulin and related diabetes treatment products. The publicly-held company [OMX AB: NOVO B and NYSE: NVO] maintains a workforce of nearly 40,000 across 75 countries. Its new Clayton operations will manufacturer the active ingredient for its insulin products, which currently is made only in Denmark. The company conducted a global site search prior to its selection of Clayton.
“North Carolina continues to excel as a destination for foreign direct investment,” said Secretary Skvarla. “Our strong life sciences infrastructure, talented workforce, competitive costs and enviable quality-of-life make our state the ideal place for major investments by visionary global companies like Novo Nordisk.”