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Eli Lilly Invests $450 Million in Jobs-to-Work Pipeline


Tuesday, February 7, 2023   

Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly has announced a $450 million investment in North Carolina's Research Triangle Park to develop new drugs, and put more people to work in the state.

It is the latest in a series of investments in North Carolina's research sector, designed to put more medications and more jobs in the pipeline.

Edgardo Hernandez, president of global manufacturing for Lilly, said it builds on investments the company has already made in the area, and will help them keep up with the soaring demand for pharmaceuticals.

"We are building capacity ahead of these promising medicines, including medicines for Alzheimer's disease, medicines for immunology, and medicines for diabetes," Hernandez outlined. "An extensive pipeline of new molecular entities that we are testing in the clinic to commercialize."

In addition to being used to create pharmaceuticals, the investment will also boost enrollment at trade schools and universities, but especially at Durham Technical Community College, which has an agreement with Lilly to train the students the company needs for many of its jobs.

So far, Lilly's recent investments have created at least 350 jobs in the pharmaceutical field, and the new money is projected to mean 100 more. Once trained, Hernandez explained the employees will do a wide variety of industry jobs.

"It goes from scientists, engineers and pharmacists to operators that operate our lines and maintenance technicians, lab technicians and even logistics and warehouse operators," Hernandez noted.

Nationwide, employers have said there is a shortage of work-ready high school graduates in lots of industries, and an investment in community colleges such as Durham and other trade schools will help train workers to address the problem in the rapidly expanding pharmaceutical sector.

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