Hospira adding 200 jobs at NC plant

Sterile injectables maker Hospira ($HSP) will bump up the workforce by more than 8% at its Rocky Mount, NC, plant as it makes improvements to meet future needs and to meet the expectations of the FDA, which has raised issues about the facility.

Hospira Spokeswoman Tareta Adams tells FiercePharma that the company in the next 36 months will invest at least $85 million in the campus and add 200 employees to the workforce already 2,400 strong. The new hires span technical, supervisory, production and support roles, Adams said. A groundbreaking was held Thursday as work begins on a new laboratory building that is part of the upgrades.

The improvements are "part of our global effort to modernize and make capital improvements in our facilities, helping Hospira continue to provide high-quality products for our customers and address their future needs," Adams says in an email.

Of course, quality has been an issue for the plant at Rocky Mount and two other facilities. The company has had to recall a whole range of products in recent months as it tries to get on top of quality issues. Problems have included particles found in glass vials and overfills for a long list of drugs including painkillers. In discussing the company's second quarter loss, CEO F. Michael Ball earlier this month told investors that Rocky Mount will be running at between 60% and 70% capacity through the rest of the year as improvements are phased in.

According to a release from the North Carolina governor's office, those 200 new jobs will carry an annual average of $51,780 in salary plus benefits in an area where wages average $34,112 a year. In exchange for its commitment, the state, county and city are kicking in a combined $645,000 in incentives for the project. The governor's office says Hospira's investment there could reach $270 million over the next decade.

- read the press release 
- here's the Triangle Business Journal story 

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