Durham offers drug company incentives for production, jobs

An unnamed pharmaceutical company has proposed building a drug production facility in Durham County that will create 100 jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue.

The Durham County Board of Commissioners are scheduled to vote Monday night on whether to OK a deal awarding the company $5 million in incentives.

The public hearing was added to the agenda on Sunday, though the identity of the company has not been revealed. It’s listed on the agenda as “Project Carter.”

Economic Development Director Andy Miracle told The News & Observer the company’s name would be revealed during the meeting, which starts at 7 p.m.

“When economic incentives are considered, that information is always confidential,” Commissioners Vice-Chair Wendy Jacobs said.

County staff recommend approving the award to the company, which has committed to invest nearly $450 million over seven years.

The site would house production lines for two drugs. The company intends to hire employees with a 2-year or tech degree for an average annual salary of $56,408. It agreed to make “reasonable efforts” to partner with local organizations like N.C. Central University and Durham Technical Community College to further workforce development events like job fairs and career panel courses.

The company has also agreed to offer several more community outreach programs, including a paid internship for local college graduates, an apprenticeship program, and a lab technique teaching program at local community colleges.

Durham Technical Community College President J.B. Buxton said they were excited to collaborate on education and training.

“Ensuring a talented workforce is a team sport. It takes companies, state and local government, and Durham Tech working together to create a diverse talent pipeline of skilled individuals capable of fulfilling jobs in our region,” Buxton said in an emailed statement.

The $5 million investment from the county, to be paid out by 2030, is contingent on the pharmaceutical company hitting the job creation, investment and community partnership metrics outlined in its proposal.

The public hearings are scheduled to start about an hour into the 7 p.m. meeting, which will be held in the administration building at 200 E. Main St. It will be streamed on the county’s YouTube channel.

This story was originally published January 23, 2023 2:56 PM.

Mary Helen Moore covers Durham for The News & Observer. She grew up in Eastern North Carolina and attended UNC-Chapel Hill before spending several years working in newspapers in Florida. Outside of work, you might find her biking, reading or fawning over plants.

Teddy Rosenbluth covers science for The News & Observer in a position funded by Duke Health and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. She has covered science and health care for Los Angeles Magazine, the Santa Monica Daily Press, and the Concord Monitor. Her investigative reporting has brought her everywhere from the streets of Los Angeles to the hospitals of New Delhi. She graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology.

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