Novo Nordisk to create 1,000 new jobs, invest $4.1B to create new medicine manufacturing facility in Clayton


CLAYTON, N.C. (WTVD) — A company that makes medicines for chronic diseases announced it will be investing $4.1 billion to build a new facility in Clayton.

“I’m personally super excited being from North Carolina and being able to head up a project of this size and this investment that will impact the community for many, many, many years to come,” Jay Kuykendall said.

Kuykendall is leading the expansion project for Novo Nordisk, the healthcare giant that already has three manufacturing facilities in the Triangle — one in Durham and two in Clayton.

The investment marks the largest single life science investment in North Carolina history. It tops the $1.8 billion investment announcement in 2016 from Novo Nordisk for one of its facilities in Clayton.

“Novo Nordisk’s decision to expand its manufacturing capability with a multi-billion-dollar investment is testament to North Carolina’s top-notch workforce and long history of being a leader in the life sciences and biopharmaceutical industries,” said Christopher Chung, CEO of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. “This announcement is the largest life sciences investment in the state’s history, and we are proud that Novo Nordisk has confidence in the workforce, resources and partnerships North Carolina provides.”

The medical company already employs more than 2,500 North Carolinians. This new facility in Clayton will create another 1,000 jobs. Plus, the construction phase of the project will create an estimated 2,000 contractor jobs.

“It’s going to have so much indirect impact by the construction jobs that we create, the business contracts that we are able to get into, the small businesses in Clayton and Johnston County, that these new families will be able to support,” Kuykendall said.

The new facility will be 1.4 million square feet. It will be used to create and package medications for things like obesity and other chronic diseases. This new facility will be nearly four times as large as the original Clayton facility, which is located across the street.

Construction is already underway for the project. Novo Nordisk said it expects major phases of the construction to be completed between 2027 and 2029.

Kuykendall highlighted efforts to attract local talent, including partnerships with Johnston Community College.

“We had mentioned introducing the BioWork program into the high schools, so you can have somebody graduate from a Johnston County High School and then go to work in the biopharmaceutical industry ready to work with one of those good paying jobs,” Johnston County Board of Commissioners Chairman Butch Lawter said.

Monday morning, the Johnston County Board of Commissioners voted to adopt a resolution for an economic development incentive grant, in which the county would reimburse a percentage of property taxes over the next dozen years dependent on investment and employment figures being met.

“They can be at home. They can be with their families. They can be coaching at our athletic associations. A lot of opportunities just beyond a great paying job. If it weren’t for the people of Johnston County and their work ethic, I don’t think it would be a success at all. Novo saw it,” said Lawter.

Novo Nordisk is now Europe’s most valuable company — a fact that politicians say could have a ripple effect in future deals with other companies.

“I’ll tell you what’s even more compelling is when you have the leadership of Novo Nordisk on the phone telling another business, is thinking about coming to North Carolina, how good of an experience they had after they made the decision, clearing the permits, working with local government, working with state government,” Sen. Thom Tillis said.

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