A laboratory company plans to open a new facility in North Carolina and bring more than 700 jobs with it.
Q2 Solutions, an organization known for its clinical trials, will invest $73 million into a Durham, North Carolina, multi-lab that Gov. Roy Cooper said will secure 749 jobs for residents.
The move comes with a cost: North Carolina is offering more than $9.5 million in tax incentives.
“We are thrilled to partner with the state of North Carolina on this exciting job creation project,” said Brian O’Dwyer, the CEO of Q2 Solutions.
According to Cooper, the new facility will add more than $1 billion to the state’s economy over the next 12 years. In return, the state will issue Q2 Solutions two grants over the same time period.
If the company meets expectations, the first grant would be for $4.2 million. The second grant in 2023 would be for $5.3 million.
Critics argue that tax incentives are a way for the government to pick winners and losers in the private sector. Critics also contend that such incentives are a waste of taxpayer money because companies generally will expand without them. Improving the state's overall tax and business climate is a fairer way to grow jobs, they contend.
Q2 Solutions chose the state because it is a breeding ground for clinical trials, officials said.
“North Carolina practically invented the clinical trial industry, and Q2 Solutions’ decision today marks a new milestone in the state’s leadership role with this important industry,” North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland said.
The seven-year project will create the Q2Solutions Genomics Center of Excellence. There, scientists will study the growth and development of genes.
“Because of our strong biotechnology talent, North Carolina has become a hub for contract research organizations of all sizes,” Cooper said. “In the fight against disease, innovative research companies like Q2 Solutions get the data to make life-changing drugs available to people who need it faster and safer, and we are proud of our state’s role to help them do that work.”
In addition to the industry growth and projected economic boost, the agreement with Q2 Solutions also requires a $3.2 million contribution to the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account for rural communities.
The new positions could also bring wages as high as $89,379 to Durham County, where the average wage is $68,731.
The county has one of the better unemployment rates in North Carolina at 3.2 percent with a job force of more than 170,000, according to the state’s Department of Commerce. The statewide unemployment rate is 4.0 percent.
“It’s great to see such momentum in economic development in Durham recently,” Sen. Floyd McKissick Jr said. “With Q2 Solutions’ decision, we applaud yet another forward-leaning company expanding in our region.”