More than 100 pharmaceutical jobs coming to Harnett County

18 Sep 2019

Now India-based KriGen Pharmaceuticals plans to bring more than 100 jobs to Lillington. The company announced Wednesday it will convert one of the former book factory’s three buildings on Edwards Brothers Drive into a pharmaceuticals plant that will make medical IV bags and liquid injectables.

The average wage at the factory is to be $42,570, says a news release from Gov. Roy Cooper’s office, compared with the average annual pay in Harnett County of $33,061.

More than 100 pharmaceutical jobs coming to Harnett County

A government incentives agreement calls for the plant to employ at least 117 people full-time with an average wage of $47,479 within five years, says a news release from the Harnett County government.

Operations are to begin in 12 to 18 months, Chief Financial Officer Dhruv Patel said. The company is spending $7 million on the purchase and upgrade of the 55,000-square-foot building, he said, with construction to begin by the end of June.

This is KriGen’s first North American operation, said Chief Executive Officer Varshal Patel. “We did a lot of research here and there is a lot of shortage for the saline and dextrose” products that KriGen plans to make, he said. “That’s why we decided to go here for the production.”

The average person may encounter a KriGen product during a hospital stay in which he needs an intravenous injection of saline or dextrose, Patel said.

KriGen does research and development in India, Varshal Patel said.

The company had considered North Carolina and Florida when deciding where to put the new plant, Patel said. It picked Lillington because the town has a good water supply and because KriGen is getting strong community support, he said.

Central Carolina Community College is to help with training, he said, and the company also has the support of the College of Pharmacy at Campbell University.

Although some positions require people with college degrees, Patel said, most workers will be trained on the job. The company will hold a jobs fair when it gets near its opening date, he said. Initially, KriGen plans to hire 30 to 40 people, Patel said, and then add additional workers over time as the employees attain their skills.

The company is advertising on its website for quality control and quality assurance positions.

News releases from Cooper and the Harnett County manager’s office say the project will qualify for a $200,000 state grant, to be matched by grants from the Lillington and Harnett County governments, if KriGen meets certain performance goals. The town and county are to vote June 17 and July 9 on their portion of the incentives.

Edwards Brothers Malloy employed 137 in Lillington when it shut down last summer, the Daily Record newspaper of Harnett County reported.

In the governor’s news release, Cooper, state Sen. Jim Burgin and state Rep. David Lewis praised the KriGen announcement.

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