Talecris Biotherapeutics plans to add 259 jobs over the next seven years as part of a $268.7 million expansion of its Clayton drug-manufacturing plant.
To convince the Research Triangle Park company, which recently raised about $1.7 billion on Wall Street, to expand in this region, state and local officials promised a package of tax breaks and other financial aid that could be worth nearly $20 million.
The practice of using such incentives to lure jobs is drawing increasing criticism, especially with the recent news that Dell plans to shut its factory in Winston-Salem, a project subsidized by a record assistance package.
Government officials say they need to use incentives because North Carolina must attract and keep solid employers to bolster its ailing economy.
"The goal is pretty simple: jobs, jobs and more jobs," Gov. Bev Perdue said at a news conference this morning in downtown Clayton.
An expanding biotech company a bright spot for North Carolina in a bad economy and the incentives are important "so that some other state doesn't lure Talecris away," she added.
Talecris' new jobs will pay average annual salaries of $51,066, state officials said. That's above the Johnston County average of $33,800.