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Abatement approval paves way for Covance jobs

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The Hancock County Council this morning unanimously approved a tax-incentive agreement that should lead Covance Inc. to add 315 jobs at its Greenfield Laboratories.

A spokeswoman for the New Jersey-based company earlier this month said abatement approval would seal Hancock County’s selection for the jobs over four other locations.

Covance plans to pay an average annual salary of $60,000, plus benefits, for jobs ranging from support staff and technicians to scientists and management.

Some of the jobs would support growth in Covance’s Biomarker Center of Excellence and such areas as nutritional chemistry and analytical services.

“That will just be huge,” Dennis Maloy, executive director of the Hancock County Economic Development Corp, said today. “These are the kinds of jobs all communities are trying to attract.”

Covance purchased the laboratories from Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. in August for $50 million and an agreement that Lilly would give Covance $1.6 billion worth of drug-development business over the next 10 years.

Covance offered jobs to all of the 260 employees who worked there and currently employs more than 300 at the labs.

The Greenfield site was one of Lilly’s oldest operations, dating to 1914.

Covance already employs 1,000 Hoosiers in Indianapolis and Evansville. Covance CEO Joe Herring told investors upon the purchase of the labs that the company hopes to land contracts with other drug companies and ramp up the 600,000-square-foot Greenfield facility to full capacity.

Lilly officials said the labs only operated at half their capacity.
 

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