COVINGTON -- Baxter International will locate a new bio-pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Stanton Springs, the four-county mixed use park located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 278 and Interstate 20, Gov. Nathan Deal announced Thursday.
The company will employ approximately 1,500 people across the state. Total investment by the company will exceed $1 billion.
"Baxter's decision to come to Georgia marks a new era in the growth of our biosciences industry and will have far-reaching impact on our economy," said Deal in a prepared statement released to the media Thursday. "We are honored to welcome this flagship company to Georgia and proud that our state's vast resources for the biomedical field will assist the company with the groundbreaking medical advances it is renowned for. Baxter's commitment to Georgia moves us closer to making Georgia the No. 1 state in which to do business."
The facility will manufacture plasma-based therapies that treat chronic and life-threatening illnesses. The operation will also include warehouse and distribution facilities. In addition to the manufacturing facility, Baxter will locate plasma centers in a number of communities around the state.
Baxter will break ground in the second half of this year and construction is expected to be completed by 2015. The majority of the 1,500 jobs expected to be created over a five-year period will be at the Stanton Springs site, said Roger Harrison, senior vice president of economic development for the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce.
To assist the company with its workforce requirements, Georgia Quick Start will build and operate a state-of-the-art biotech training center on the Baxter site in Stanton Springs, Harrison said. The training center will provide customized training to meet the company's start-up needs and build capacity and curricula within the Technical College System of Georgia for maintaining a long-term pipeline of highly skilled employees who are well-trained in bio-manufacturing operations, according to the press release issued by the governor.
In addition, the Governor's Office of Workforce Development and the Georgia Department of Labor will assist the company in identifying and recruiting workers.
"The manufacture of high-quality biologic medicines is critical for serving the needs of patients around the world. We're pleased to partner with the people of Georgia to support Baxter's core mission of saving and sustaining lives," said Robert L. Parkinson Jr., chairman and CEO of Baxter.
Plasma protein fractionation, the process of separating plasma into its components, is the largest industry segment in global therapeutic protein manufacture. It's a $14 billion global industry -- with America supplying more than half of the world's plasma supply -- that supplies products to more than 1 million patients each year.
Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures and markets products for patients with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions. As a global, diversified health care company, Baxter applies a unique combination of expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to create products that advance patient care worldwide. Baxter reported sales of $13.9 billion in 2011 and has approximately 48,500 employees.