Talecris adding 259 jobs at Clayton drug plant

Posted November 13, 2009 9:47 a.m. EST
Updated November 13, 2009 6:35 p.m. EST

— Talecris Biotherapeutics (Nasdaq: TLCR) will add 259 jobs and invest nearly $270 million over the next seven years to expand its blood plasma therapeutics plant in Clayton.

The North Carolina Economic Investment Committee agreed to a contract Friday morning that will award payroll tax rebates up to $3.66 million over 12 years through the Job Development Investment Grant program if new job targets are met and sustained.

Talecris, which is one of the world's largest providers of plasma therapeutics and is based in Research Triangle Park, also will receive a $250,000 grant from the state’s One North Carolina Fund.

Gov. Beverly Perdue made a formal announcement about the new jobs and expansion at a ceremony in Clayton, where Talecris already employs more than 1,800 people and makes up a large chunk of the local tax base.

"North Carolina is on the right track, unlike other states, and we're moving forward," Perdue said. "We continue to get good job locations, and it's important to keep the jobs we have."

The jobs will pay an average of $51,066 plus benefits, according to the Department of Commerce. The average Johnston County wage is $33,800.

Under the job grant program, Talecris will receive rebates up to 65 percent of the state personal income withholding taxes generated by new jobs.

Talecris chose Clayton for the expansion over a site in South Carolina, and executives said the incentives played a major role in the decision.

"The incentives were helpful in supporting the investment, as well as the rich biotechnology support we have in the region, plus the history that we have in North Carolina and Johnston County," Talecris Executive Vice President Mary Kuhn said.

The Talecris expansion comes about a month after computer maker Dell Inc. announced plans to close its Forsyth County assembly plant. The state lured Dell five years ago with almost $300 million in incentives, and the firm's sudden departure sparked criticism of the incentives program.

Perdue defended business recruitment incentives again Friday.

"North Carolina has to be able to compete. It's as simple as that," she said. "Otherwise, we will continue to lose jobs, and our economy will suffer."