Biopharmaceutical giant Merck bringing 600 jobs to Austin

FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, file photo, a person walks through a Merck company building, in Kenilworth, N.J. Merck reports financial results Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)
FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, file photo, a person walks through a Merck company building, in Kenilworth, N.J. Merck reports financial results Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin will soon be home to a Merck IT hub as part of a $20 million investment by Merck, also known as MSD globally, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday.

“Texas continues to excel as an economic powerhouse because global industry leaders like Merck recognize the Lone Star State as a premier state for business expansion and enterprise,” said Gov. Abbott.

“I am extremely encouraged by Merck’s investment in Texas, and for the opportunities and jobs that will come along with it. This expansion is another example that Texas is the place where business and innovation come to thrive.”

Austin was selected as the new home for the IT hub thanks in part to the culture of innovation and the fact the city is home to the Dell Medical School. The company plans to bring up to 600 jobs with an average salary of $84,000.

“A major factor in Merck picking Austin is the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas,” said Senator Kirk Watson, D-Austin. “And Dell Medical School would not be here but for the investment by Travis County taxpayers. With this project, we have further proof that investment is paying the dividends we promised by improving both the health of our community and our economy.”

“In Austin, we think Merck sees an unprecedented effort by a number of partners to transform the ecosystem around people’s health, not just health care,” said Dr. Clay Johnston, inaugural dean of the Dell Medical School. “We’re hopeful that we’ll find ways to work with them on a wide range of efforts to reduce health inequities, improve patient outcomes and lower costs to the community. Just as they need an all-in community like Austin to advance some of their person-centered goals, our community needs a well-resourced, internationally engaged collaborator that will catalyze collaborative efforts to transform the ways people get and stay healthy.”

KXAN first reported Merck was considering the project in April when City Council was considering an incentive deal to bring the pharma giant to town. The city approved a measure that will grant Merck nearly $1 million in incentives.

The governor’s announcement Monday also came with an offer to extend $6 million of state money to the company.

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