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Local Tech Wire, WRAL.com

RALEIGH, N.C. – (Nasdaq: TLCR) will add 259 jobs and invest nearly $270 million over the next seven years to expand its blood plasma therapeutics plant in Clayton.

The North Carolina Economic Investment Committee agreed to a contract Friday morning that will award payroll tax rebates up to $3.66 million over 12 years if new job targets are met and sustained through the Job development Investment Grant program.

Talecris also will receive a $250,000 grant from the state’s One North Carolina fund.

Gov. Beverly Perdue made a formal announcement about the new jobs and expansion at a ceremony in Clayton where Talecris already operates a huge facility and employs hundreds of people. It employs more than 1,800 people in Johnston County and some 4,700 worldwide.

“The competition for these types of jobs is fierce,” Perdue said in a statement. “The fact that Talecris has found the tools it needs to succeed in North Carolina shows why this state’s business climate is consistently named as the best in the nation.”

The jobs will pay an average wage of $51,066 plus benefits, according to the Department of Commerce. The average Johnston County wage is $33,800.

Under the job grant program, known as JDIG, Talecris will receive rebates up to 65 percent of the state personal income withholding taxes as generated through new jobs.

“We’re extremely pleased to be investing in our company’s growth while at the same time contributing to the economic prosperity of Johnston County, a region that has been a historic partner in the development of our industry,” said Mary Kuhn, executive vice president of operations for Talecris. “Our manufacturing capabilities have grown exponentially in recent years, creating more jobs and local opportunities. We’re excited to continue expanding in a region that has been so supportive of the biotechnology industry.”

Talecris chose Clayton for the expansion over a site in South Carolina, and executives said the incentives played a major role in the decision.

"The incentives were helpful in supporting the investment, as well as the rich biotechnology support we have in the region, plus the history that we have in North Carolina and Johnston County," Talecris Executive Vice President Mary Kuhn said.

The Talecris expansion comes about a month after computer maker Dell Inc. announced plans to close its Forsyth County assembly plant. The state lured Dell five years ago with almost $300 million in incentives, and the firm’s sudden departure sparked criticism of the incentives program.

Perdue defended business recruitment incentives again Friday.

"North Carolina has to be able to compete. It’s as simple as that," she said. "Otherwise, we will continue to lose jobs, and our economy will suffer."

(WRAL’s Dan Bowens contributed to this report.)