RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Life Science Logistics announced last week that it would expand to the Triangle, investing in the buildout of 132,000 square feet of space that will provide temperature-controlled and cold storage space for the company’s life science clients. Now we’ve got more details.
The company plans to hire between 50 and 100 jobs to staff the facility, which could open as soon as April 2022, John Blackington, the director of business development, told WRAL TechWire in an interview on Monday.
A lightly edited version of the interview between Blackington and WRAL TechWire reporter Jason Parker is below the video interview.
Jason Parker, WRAL TechWire (TW): What led the company to decide to expand into the Triangle?
John Blackington, director of business development, Life Science Logistics (Blackington): Raleigh-Durham has always been a big pharmaceutical hub, as the name RTP suggests. We’ve had our eye on the area for a while now, to keep a tab on it, and we’ve had some clients, and some prospective clients grow into the area with manufacturing and research and development. With that, comes the need for storage and distribution of pharmaceuticals and medical devices, biologics, things of that nature. It reached a critical mass for us to decide to put a facility in this area that would service some of the needs of those companies that are performing those manufacturing services out of that area.
TW: Where is the facility located?
Blackington: It’s a new facility being built pretty close to the airport. It’s relatively close to the airport for storage and distribution needs.
TW: Our understanding is that it is a 132,000 square foot facility, with two primary service functions the facility will provide for clients. Can you tell us about the facility and these services?
Blackington: The facility is 132,000 square feet. It will have controlled room temperature, which is 20-25 degrees Celcius, as well as refrigerated temperature which is 2-8 degrees Celcius.
TW: The company previously stated it would hire between 50 and 100 positions for this facility. What can you tell us about the plans to hire for the facility?
Blackington: The job range is so wide due to the number of clients we may or may not have in that facility. Obviously, the more clients, the more jobs, which is what we’re hoping for for the area. The timeline to get those people hired and up and running is probably some time up in the beginning of 2022. The facility is tentatively scheduled to come online in April 2022, so I’d imagine at that time, or slightly before that, we’ll begin the hiring process to have personnel at the facility. Those jobs will range from warehousing employees to site leaders and site managers. There’s a quality component to the positions that we’ll have hired there as well, in addition to facility maintenance and some back-office functions as well.
TW: Can you tell us your personal thoughts, or how the company is thinking about, the talent market in the Triangle specifically in the life science industry?
Blackington: We’re very excited to expand into the area, because the talent pool is very experienced in that area, especially with the research and development and the universities in the area. There’s no lack of talent or expertise in the area. We’re very excited to grow into the area and see what the talent pool has to offer for those positions.
TW: What’s an important trend you’ve observed in the life science industry, including how that trend is playing out in the state of North Carolina and in the Triangle?
Blackington: The life science industry is booming as a whole. With the need for new medications and the development of that, a lot of those companies that are manufacturing those medicines are based in the RTP area, so the growth of that area, and the growth of those companies for new medications and research and development has led to growth in the area, and for a company like ours to plant a flag and start storing and distributing medications.
TW: What’s the total investment the company is making into the facility and into the region?
Blackington: We’re thinking it will be around the $15-$20 million mark, between the investment in the facility and the investment in jobs. We’re very excited to be a part of the community and the area.