HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. -- Town leaders and business professionals from Novartis broke ground Thursday on a new Novartis plant in the Holly Springs Business Park off of N.C. 55. The groundbreaking signals a new era for doing business in Holly Springs.
"Already we've had people call and say, "I hear you're getting Novartis. We're kind of interested in getting a plant in your town,'” said Holly Springs Mayor Dick Sears.
Novartis will spend at least $267 million on the Holly Springs facility, but the investment could grow to $600 million. The company plans to create 350 jobs with an annual salary of $49,000. Most jobs will be filled locally.
"It starts with the availability of a trained workforce,” said Dr. Joerg Reinhardt, CEO of Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics. “It starts with having good people who want to perform, who want to excel."
The drug maker says it will use the plant to make a new kind of flu vaccine. Construction should be finished by 2009; vaccine production could start as soon as 2011.
"The image that it enhances Holly Springs to the standpoint of a town that had less than a 1,000 people in 1990 now has landed Novartis," Sears explained.
Currently, the population of Holly Springs is getting close to 20,000. Novartis says it is the perfect size town for it to set up shop.