Clinical trial and lab services company currently employs nearly 650 people at Northern Kentucky facility

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 27, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced a significant investment in Kentucky’s health care sector as the PPD clinical research business of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. will create 200 full-time jobs, including at least 140 Kentucky resident positions, through a $59 million expansion of the company’s facility in Campbell County.

“Thermo Fisher’s expanding footprint and the accompanying creation of more than 200 total jobs are huge wins for Kentucky,” Gov. Beshear said. “We are pleased to extend our partnership with this world-class organization and look forward to seeing many more years of successful operations in our state.”

Thermo Fisher will expand and renovate its central lab on Tesseneer Drive in Highland Heights, adding 43,000 square feet to provide increased testing of pharmaceutical products. The project will bring the total available space in the facility to more than 114,000 square feet. Company leaders anticipate breaking ground by the end of the first quarter of next year and expect to complete the project in stages by year-end 2024. New jobs created through the project will include Ph.D.-level scientists, analytical laboratory staff and other scientific professionals.

“We are proud of our 20-year relationship with the people and businesses of this region, which provides an attractive place for our colleagues to live and work,” said David M. Johnston, Ph.D., senior vice president and president, clinical research, Thermo Fisher Scientific. “We have developed a strong collaborative partnership with the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Campbell County and the City of Highland Heights. Investing in clinical research is essential to delivering on our mission to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer.”

Operating in Kentucky since 2002, the PPD clinical research business is a global leader of clinical research services. In December 2021, the business was acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific. The company’s clinical research business has conducted trials in more than 100 countries and currently employs close to 650 people at the Highland Heights location, including nearly 300 Kentucky residents.

Thermo Fisher’s growth in Kentucky builds on the state’s thriving health care-related business sector, which includes 230 facilities employing 36,000 people. Administration-to-date, the sector has contributed to nearly 50 new-location or expansion announcements totaling nearly $500 million and more than 2,900 full-time jobs for Kentuckians.

Campbell County Judge/Executive Steve Pendery expressed his gratitude to Thermo Fisher Scientific leaders for expanding and creating well-paying career opportunities at the current facility.

“The retention of more than 600 jobs and the addition of 200 new jobs by Thermo Fisher at its central lab in Campbell County is a huge win for our community,” said Judge Pendery. “We’re proud to have Thermo Fisher expand in Campbell County.”

Highland Heights Mayor Greg Meyers appreciates Thermo Fisher’s decision to expand its central lab and biomarker operations in the city.

“We know companies have a choice when growing their operations and creating new jobs,” said Mayor Meyers. “We’re thrilled to retain hundreds of jobs, announce new investment and the addition of 200 new jobs in Highland Heights. The expansion by Thermo Fisher is great news for the many retail and service businesses in our city and the entire Cincinnati region.”

Lee Crume, Northern Kentucky Tri-ED president and CEO, noted the region is a hub for the life sciences industry and provides significant talent to companies such as Thermo Fisher Scientific.

“The Tri-ED team worked diligently over the last two years with the PPD clinical research business, the City of Highland Heights, Campbell County and the Cabinet for Economic Development to win this expansion and retain the business and hundreds of jobs in Northern Kentucky,” Crume said. “This is a huge win for the Cincinnati region Life sciences companies such as Thermo Fisher are important stakeholders in our region and employment in this sector is projected to grow by 30% in Northern Kentucky by 2025.”

Thermo Fisher’s investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.

In 2021, the commonwealth shattered every economic development record in the books. Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years. Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage for projects statewide in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.

The economic momentum has carried strongly into 2022, with nearly $7.5 billion invested and more than 13,000 full-time jobs created just through September.

Since taking office, Gov. Beshear’s administration has welcomed $21 billion in investments that are creating 40,000 jobs, including the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September 2021, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK Innovation celebrated a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County. And in April of this year, the Governor was joined by leadership at Envision AESC to announce a $2 billion investment that will create 2,000 jobs in Warren County. These announcements solidify Kentucky as the EV battery production capital of the United States.

Kentucky’s success has been noted by both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings, which have upgraded the state’s financial outlook to positive in recognition of the commonwealth’s surging economy. In addition, Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky at 6th in its annual Prosperity Cup rankings for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.

Kentucky has posted record low unemployment rates for the longest consecutive stretch on record, holding at or below 3.9% since April 2022.

In July, the Governor reported the highest annual growth rate in 31 years. And for the second year in a row, Kentucky’s General Fund budget surplus has exceeded $1 billion. Also in July, Gov. Beshear reported that the state’s rainy day fund is up to a record balance of $2.7 billion, significantly higher than the $129 million balance the fund had when the Governor took office.

Kentucky reported August 2022 General Fund receipts hit an unprecedented high for any August on record, marking 21 straight months of growing revenues for the state.

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed Kentucky lead the entire nation in job growth for the month of August and tied with New Hampshire for the largest jump in employment growth for September.

In September, Kentucky reported August 2022 General Fund receipts hit an unprecedented high for any August on record, marking 21 straight months of growing revenues for the state. September was also the third highest revenue month on record with more than $1.4 billion reported, marking the seventh month this year with collections topping $1 billion.

And from September 2021 to September 2022, Kentucky added 81,700 new jobs. Except for a four-month recovery period after the initial COVID-19 shock, this is the largest number of new jobs added in 20 years.

To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) today preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with Thermo Fisher under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $4 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $59 million and annual targets of:

  • Creation and maintenance of 140 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
  • Paying an average hourly wage of $41 including benefits across those jobs.

Additionally, KEDFA approved the company for up to $500,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.

By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.

In addition, Thermo Fisher can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.

For more information on Thermo Fisher Scientific, visit ThermoFisher.com.

A detailed community profile for Campbell County can be viewed here.

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.

Read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at governor.ky.govkycovid19.ky.gov and the Governor’s official social media accounts FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

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