Writer: Felipe Rivas
2 min read February 2021 —It’s been a strong start to the year as far as corporate expansions go for the Research Triangle. Despite the ongoing pandemic, two major, back-to-back corporate expansion announcements continue to characterize the strength of the Triangle’s strong workforce and tech-savvy talent pipeline.
Gilead Sciences, Inc., a California-based biopharmaceutical company developing innovative medicines, recently announced its expansion into the Triangle as it seeks to establish a major business services and information technology hub in Wake County. Similarly, PennyMac Financial Services, Inc., a specialty financial services firm also based in California, announced plans in late January to expand operations into Wake County for a mortgage fulfillment production center in Cary. Collectively, these announcements are expected to create more than 500 jobs in Wake County.
With headquarters in Foster City, California, Gilead Sciences is a biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative medicines in areas of unmet medical need. Gilead’s primary areas of focus are virology, inflammation and oncology. “With (this) announcement, Gilead confirms that North Carolina sits at the crossroads of technology and life science innovation and offers the talent, infrastructure, and business environment needed to support their success,” said Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement. The company’s project in the Triangle will create a new business services center delivering financial, human resources and information technology services, including cybersecurity and digital transformation initiatives, the governor’s office said.
“We look forward to introducing Gilead to the local community. We are eager to welcome many of the highly talented, highly skilled people who live in the Research Triangle region to work with us as we seek to advance new medicines for people with unmet medical needs,” Gilead’s Chief Financial Officer Andrew Dickinson said in a statement.
For PennyMac, their expansion into the Triangle market will support the mortgage fulfillment functions of the company’s direct lending operations. “Growing companies like PennyMac Financial want to expand in North Carolina even during a pandemic because of our strong talent pipeline, steady business climate and our exceptional quality of life,” Cooper said in a statement.
“What initially attracted PennyMac to this region was the diversity and talent that the city has to offer,” said Doug Jones, President of PennyMac. “We look forward to establishing a workforce in North Carolina that broadens our national footprint, brings new jobs to the community, and helps us reach our goal of becoming the industry’s best in customer service.”
The region’s unemployment rate also reflects its strong workforce and employment possibility. Wake County’s unemployment rate stands well below the national average. As of December 2020, the county’s jobless rate was at 5.1% compared to the national average of 6.3% according to the St. Louis Fed.
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