The City Council in , has accepted a grant of nearly $540,000 from the Golden Leaf Foundation to help a local life science company expand in Greenville. The expansion will allow the company to add 138 full-time jobs over the next four years to its high-tech forensic laboratory located in Greenville's rapidly growing medical district.
According to Economic Development Officer Carl Rees, the project will allow for retention of science and technology graduates from both East Carolina University as well as Pitt Community College and will be a boost to the local economy as the average wages for the new jobs proposed by the company are expected to be in excess of $60,000 per year. "We were thrilled 18 months ago when the Center for Advanced DNA Analysis selected Greenville as home and are gratified that the company has had enough success to invest in this major expansion," said Rees.
The City will use the nearly $540,000 to purchase forensic analysis equipment and then lease that equipment back to the company over several years. The City has been authorized by the Golden Leaf Foundation to roll the lease payments into a newly established revolving fund that will allow the City to make loans to land owners in order to prepare their sites for development. The City's new Site-Ready loan program will lend property owners money to complete a range of predevelopment items on their property. Eligible uses of these funds include site plans, boundary surveys, environmental assessments and preliminary buildings plans.
"When businesses look at locating in Greenville, they ask for land which is shovel-ready or in other words, ready to break ground," said Rees. "If we don't have available tracts of land accompanied by boundary surveys, site plans, and environmental surveys, developers just move on to the next city on their list. We believe that this new program will make us an even more competitive location for business investment."