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Record year for life sciences investments in North Carolina

Catalent Greenville550 copy.png
N.C. Biotechnology Center
Catalent, a global contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) with two facilities in North Carolina, is one of the life sciences companies to announce an expansion in North Carolina last year. This is a rendering of the new facility in Greenville.

2022 was a banner year for growth in North Carolina's life sciences industries, and the state continued its push for more life sciences manufacturing investments.

The North Carolina Biotechnology Center (NCBiotech) reports that companies announced 33 projects this year that will total $2.1 billion of investments and more than 2,700 new jobs in life sciences and related industries.

NCBiotech CEO Doug Edgeton says recruiters here sold the state's ready-made workforce, something he says gives North Carolina an advantage.

"States or locations that have an ample supply of skilled technology workers are in a real short supply in the country right now," he said. "So we're trying our best to take advantage of the window while it's open."

The bulk of these investments came in manufacturing, with new investments or expansions by companies like Eli Lilly, Fujifilm and Novo Nordisk.

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TEConomy 2022 report
Job growth in North Carolina life sciences industries has outpaced the total private sector here as well as the life sciences industries in the nation.

Job growth in life sciences industries in North Carolina has outpaced the total private sector here, as well as life sciences job growth nationwide, according to an analysis of jobs figures by TEConomy Partners, an Ohio-based consulting firm.

Edgeton says there has been a statewide push to train workers exactly for those roles.

"The community college system has come in with the BioNetwork program," he said. "Which has been a real godsend for us because when companies come up, they say, 'How are we going to meet our workforce needs?'"

Jason deBruyn is the WUNC health reporter, a beat he took in 2020. He has been in the WUNC newsroom since 2016.
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