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Governor Kelly announces a $650 Mil investment, paying 500 new jobs in Manhattan

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Governor Laura Kelly announced the largest economic development investment in her administration’s history on Monday in Manhattan.

Governor Kelly announced the new investment, Scorpion Biological Servicesa subsidiary of Heat Biologics, Inc., is beginning on planned development of a new 500,000 square foot biomanufacturing facility.

“Five years from now, Manhattan will not be the same.” Governor Laura Kelly said. “In fact today’s announcement is the largest capital investment project interstate since the start of my administration in 2019. It puts Manhattan right at the heart of our country’s response to tomorrow’s pandemics and global threats. In addition to the school, the strength of the Kansas workforce will be a critical part of your success. Scorpions’ important mission will call Kansas is bright minds and hard workers to join the effort.”

Gov. Kelly says the $650 million business investment project will create 500 new, high-paying jobs in Manhattan within the next seven years.

Gov. Kelly says the facility will support the development of vaccines that enable an accelerated response to global biological threats.

In addition, Kelly says the Scorpion Biological Services intends to provide commercial level development, manufacturing, and bioanalytical testing services at every stage for biopharmaceutical products on a fee-for-service basis to the global health care industry.

“It’s really to provide and build commercial-scale facilities that’s built around this mindset of developing drugs quickly, efficiently, rapidly for the people who really need them,” Jeffrey Wolf, Chief Executive Officer of Heat Biologics. “The pandemic really opened our eyes to how difficult it is and the lack of capacity to manufacture new drugs in a time of need. So we really decided to go in there and do something about it.”

“We are showing again and again that we have what it takes to attract highly innovative and highly-technical businesses to Kansas,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “It’s absolutely critical that we, as a nation, increase our capacity for domestic production of these types of vaccines and we are extremely proud to see this work happening here in Kansas.”

Scorpion’s biomanufacturing facility represents a new chapter for the company, and it opens the door to a more prepared, innovative, and resilient future when it comes to how our nation—and the world—will respond to biological threats.

Gov. Kelly says the combination of a world-class public research university, innovative private sector partners, and critical national security led Scorpion to choose Manhattan for its new facility.

Kelly added that the skill and strength of the Kansas workforce will support the success of this project with Kansas’ brightest minds and hard workers joining the efforts.

“It feels really good. that is our goal is growth. So creating jobs, attracting talent, retaining talent, obviously Fort Riley and Kansas State University will play a major role,” said Daryn Soldan with Manhattan Area Chamber. “Our talent pipeline for this project and another’s like it and so it’s really exciting and I think we got great partners that help support these types of projects.”

Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan) says this project will help keep citizens safe, “it’s the ability for us to make certain that we develop the necessary tools for our citizens for health and well being, and the more we can distance ourselves from China and China-made products, the safer we will be.”

According to Gov. Kelly, this project came together as a result of partnerships between the Kansas Department of Commerce, Kansas State University, Kansas State University Innovation Partners, the City of Manhattan, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, Pottawatomie County, Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corporation, Manhattan Area Technical College, Evergy, CRB and Realty Trust Group.

the Manhattan City Commission will consider a resolution of intent for an economic incentive package at Tuesday’s meeting.

Sen. Moran says this investment is not related to the APEX incentive package lawmakers approved earlier this yearwhich was proposed to attract a business with $2.5 billion of new revenue to the state.

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