Baxter International began construction of its new biological medical treatment manufacturing facility, estimated to cost more than $1 Billion, and employ approximately 1,500 people, east of Atlanta near Covington, Georgia.
The firm plans to manufacture plasma-based therapies that treat chronic and life-threatening illnesses. The company will also construct warehouse and plasma testing laboratory facilities at the Stanton Springs site. Completion of the first manufacturing buildings is planned for 2015. Additional construction will continue into 2016. The plant is anticipated to begin commercial production in 2018. In addition to the manufacturing facility, Baxter will locate plasma collection centers in a number of communities around the state.
"Georgia supports Baxter's mission to save lives, and this occasion is one of many milestones we look forward to celebrating with the company as it establishes a presence in Georgia," said Gov. Nathan Deal. "Baxter's decision to build a facility here is a watershed event for the state, not only in our goal to establish Georgia as a hub for global health, but in our mission to provide high-quality jobs for our citizens."
"In a few years, Baxter team members working in facilities located on the ground where we are standing today will produce lifesaving biologic treatments for patients around the world," Chief Executive Officer Robert L. Parkinson, Jr. said at the recent ground breaking.
State economic development officials noted Stanton Springs will also be home to a biotech training center that will provide a workforce pipeline for Baxter and other members of the state's bioscience industry. The training center will be owned by the state and operated by Georgia Quick Start, the state's customized workforce training program.
"Our entire region is excited about Baxter's arrival and joins together today in extending a warm welcome to our newest corporate citizen," said Alan Verner, chairman of the Joint Development Authority of Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton counties. "We realize Baxter could have chosen any location in the world, but its decision to settle in this community means quality jobs will be available not just for us, not just for our children, but for our children's children and generations thereafter."
"Georgia and Baxter share the goal of building and maintaining a world-class facility operated with a Georgia workforce that will help the company provide top-quality care to patients in need," said Chris Cummiskey, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
The state offers robust public-private partnerships in bioscience, including the Georgia Research Alliance, through which the state's six research universities collaborate with businesses to create, improve and grow science and technology-based companies, the Governor's Office said.