The Durham City Council approved an economic incentive payment of up to $77,000 for contract development and manufacturing services company Almac Group to expand in the Bull City.
Almac, which serves biopharmaceuticals and biotechnology companies, plans to grow its Durham operation on Technology Drive, near Lowe’s off Roxboro Road in northern Durham.
The company has been in Durham since the mid-1990s, said Darrell Solomon, of the city’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development. Almac has 289 employees in Durham and 4,500 globally. Its global headquarters is in Northern Ireland.
“An incentive is necessary,” Solomon said. “The company has indicated that if this is not incentivized here, then they do have options elsewhere, primarily at its (U.S.) headquarters,” in Souderton, Pennsylvania.
The company plans to invest $6.1 million and create 102 additional clinical and diagnostic jobs over five years, including 77 jobs within three years, Solomon said.
Alan Armstrong, chief executive officer of Almac Group, said the company must expand to compete on the global level.
“Our presence in Durham has experienced tremendous success,and we are excited to make a further commitment to the area signifying our confidence in the pool of talent and skill right on our doorstep,” he said.
$1,000 per job
The city is offering to pay up to $1,000 per established job up to $77,000. The state is offering a one-to-one match with the city’s offer through a One North Carolina Fund Grant, a cash grant program.
To receive the city payment, Almac has to invest at least nearly $5.2 million in capital improvements and create and retain 77 positions for at least a year. The $77,000 incentive would be paid in one lump sum upon creation of the 77 jobs, according to a city report.
The average wage for the positions would be $70,300. Almac’s planned $6.1 million capital investment in the expansion could yield $132,000 in tax revenue for the city over five years.
About 18 of the new positions will not require a college degree, Solomon said.
Solomon said the company plans to use the NCWorks Career Center to recruit for the positions.
Councilwoman Jillian Johnson said she has been talking with city officials about whether the city could require local hiring for some of the incentive agreements.
Councilman Charlie Reece said there are some constitutional prohibitions to creating a flat requirement that a certain number of new jobs increased through economic incentives be designated for Durham residents.
“What we can do, what I hope we will do in the weeks and months ahead is craft a policy that will allows us to create an additional incentive for economic developers,” who hire city residents, Reece said.