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The Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. — A pair of companies won’t collect job-creation grants from North Carolina taxpayers as the recession hits health care and financial services differently.

The state’s Economic Investment Committee, which awards and oversees the major incentives program used to lure expanding companies, on Tuesday canceled a 2005 deal with Hewitt Associates Inc. The Lincolnshire, Ill.-based company had planned to bring 900 new jobs to Charlotte. Those human resources administration and information technology positions didn’t happen as the global financial crisis hit the banking city hard.

But two years of recession hasn’t slowed the expansion of Durham-based Quintiles.{{/a}]

The global pharmaceutical testing firm decided to postpone collecting a Job Development Investment Grant payment of $299,000 in a gesture to help out the cash-strapped state budget, an offer the committee accepted Tuesday.

The company will defer collecting the money until the middle of next year, about when the state’s budget for the current year closes out.

"Quintiles has been very fortunate that we have performed well and even in this downturn we have seen expansion in our business," spokesman Phil Bridges said. "We recognize that the current economy has put the state of North Carolina in a tough financial position. Quintiles made the offer to defer payment on the (grant) as a way of saying thank you, not only for investing in us but believing in us and our future growth in North Carolina."

Quintiles could receive up to $21.4 million over 12 years under a grant awarded in 2006 to create and sustain 1,000 new jobs. The grants come from taxes the company’s employees pay the state.

Since 2006, the contract drug research company has spent $51 million to build a new headquarters and hired nearly 400 workers at salaries averaging nearly $81,000 a year.

Quintiles runs clinical drug trials for pharmaceutical companies, handles documentation necessary for regulatory approval, and recruits and hires drug company sales representatives.

Hewitt met its target to create at least 158 new jobs by the end of 2006 and was due to collect $181,000, a figure the state Commerce Department couldn’t and Hewitt wouldn’t confirm Tuesday.

But the global provider of human resources support and consulting services wasn’t able to hire at least 630 additional employees by the end of 2008 or hit its target of 900 jobs by the end of this year.

Hewitt could have collected up to $8 million if it created the jobs and kept them for 10 years.

The company is the 14th to quit the JDIG program out of 100 approved for job-creation sweeteners since the program started in 2003.

Boat builder Chris-Craft Corp., computer builders Dell Inc. and Lenovo, and memory-chip maker Qimonda North American decided in recent years to cut staff rather than expand as their sales soured, ending their claims on promised incentives. After opening a $600 million data center near Lenoir, Internet giant Google last year turned down the grant it was promised in 2006.

Hewitt restructured its human resources business process outsourcing business in 2006, then was set back as some clients suffered when the financial crisis hit, Hewitt spokeswoman Amy Wulfestieg said. The company employs about 450 in Charlotte, she said.