New Jobs: St. Jude to Build Second Facility - Pickens Sentinel
By Sandy Foster
LIBERTY - St. Jude Medical, Inc. announced Tuesday that it will build another facility at the Pickens County Commerce Park.
Hybrid microelectronic circuits for the company’s implantable pacemakers and defibrillator will be made at the new 60,000 square foot plant.
St. Jude officials plan to hire about 300 employees to operate the facility over the next five years. Construction will begin in January 2007, and the company hopes to be operational by early 2008.
“This is a true gain in the type of jobs and wages being brought in,” said County Council Vice Chairman Neil Smith.
The new plant will be in addition to St. Jude’s current operations at the industrial park near Liberty, which currently employs about 300 people.
Dan Starks, the president and CEO of St. Jude Medical, said that the company looked at several locations for the new facility, including Ireland, India, China, Singapore and Puerto Rico, before making a decision.
But, he said, Pickens County was chosen because of its leadership and its people.
“It became clear that South Carolina was an ideal place for us to expand,” he said.
Everyone who spoke at Tuesday’s announcement emphasized teamwork.
Site Vice President Dave Ewing said that St. Jude was very appreciative of the support and commitment from the S.C. Department of Commerce, Alliance Pickens, and County Council.
Governor Mark Sanford said Tuesday’s announcement “reinforces the progress we’re making in bettering the soil conditions for businesses to allow them to grow and succeed.”
“From day one, our administration has been committed to recruiting high-tech jobs that can raise income levels and enhance the quality of life for our state’s citizens,” he said.
He pointed out that St. Jude Medical is named after the patron saint of lost causes, and said that while 46 percent of the work force in Pickens County goes elsewhere for employment, creating jobs for them here is not a lost cause.
“Pickens County Council wants to turn that around, and it’s no lost cause based on the example set by St. Jude,” said Sanford.
County Council Chairperson Jennifer Willis said that in three years, 1,040 jobs have been created at the Pickens County Commerce Park.
Willis said that St. Jude Medical will provide skilled, technical jobs with good benefits and allow more people to work where they live.
Following the announcement, Council member Ben Trotter said that the new facility would not be possible without St. Jude Medical and the taxpayers of Pickens County.
He added that the current County Council is dedicated to bringing more jobs into Pickens County and that the second St. Jude facility is “just a stepping stone.”
St. Jude Medical is based in St. Paul, Minn. and employs about 11,000 people worldwide.