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Government / WBAA

Eli Lilly announces $2.1 billion dollar expansion in Indiana

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Eli Lilly CEO and Chair Dave Ricks outlines the company's planned expansion in the state (Credit: Lauren Chapman)

The pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly announced a $2 billion expansion in Indiana during a press conference at the Governor’s mansion on Wednesday.

Representatives for Lilly said the company plans to build two new manufacturing sites at an innovation and research district in Boone County, pending zoning approvals expected to be taken up this summer.

In a press release, the company said the two facilities will increase manufacturing capacity for “active ingredients and new therapeutic modalities, like genetic medicines.”

Lilly could be the first company to set up operations within LEAP Lebanon, a development mega-site that the Indiana Economic Development Corporation hopes will allow the state to compete for high-wage jobs in high-tech industries. The district has raised some concerns among Boone County residents who worry it could change the face of the region.

Lebanon Mayor Matt Gentry called the investment a “game-changer” for the community.

“A 2.1 billion dollar investment in Boone County is the largest in our history,” he said. “It puts us on the map and provides a lot of other opportunities for us. I think a lot of other companies when they are looking to expand or grow somewhere, they will say ‘oh Lilly has a footprint in Lebanon.’”

The expansion is expected to create 500 new jobs directly within the company.

Gov. Eric Holcomb emphasized that the Lilly investment represented the kind of high-wage careers he wants to bring to the state.

“Some may say ‘as Lilly goes so does the state of Indiana’ and we’re proud of that because with Dave Ricks at the helm this company has never been stronger,” he said.

Holcomb also noted that the announcement came on the heels of a $2.5 billion announcement from Stellantis and Samsung to build an EV-battery manufacturing plant in the state.

“I felt like we were waving the checkered flag yesterday, I knew we were going to have another checkered flag today,” he said.

Lilly CEO and Chair Dave Ricks said the new sites will manufacture the latest medical technologies coming from the company. Ricks was asked by reporters whether Indiana would be challenged to provide the education and training needed to fill open positions.

“We’ll have to work together to staff the site and ensure there is a constant flow of highly trained workers,” he said.