DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred will expand its presence in central Iowa with additional lab facilities and jobs focused on advanced plant genetics.
The planned investment will include new research facilities and space for 400 new research positions based in Johnston, Iowa. This increased investment in research will help meet the global challenge to double agricultural productivity by 2050 and will provide a significant boost to the economy in Iowa.
"First-class research facilities and people are required to deliver innovative solutions to farmers worldwide, and we have both," said Paul E. Schickler, Pioneer president. "Our planned expansion will take Pioneer's R&D capabilities to the next level, which is critical to meet the growing demand for agricultural products."
The proposed $40 million facility will include state-of-the-art laboratories in multiple connected buildings covering approximately 200,000 square feet. Construction is anticipated to begin in September with occupancy early in 2012.
This is another key investment in the Pioneer global growth plan. To accommodate its rapidly growing business, Pioneer has expanded by more than 130,000 square feet of office and laboratory space in central Iowa in the past two years alone. During that period, Pioneer's central Iowa workforce grew by approximately 500 employees and today numbers about 2,400. Pioneer employs more than 9,500 people worldwide.
"Today's announcement is about three things — jobs, jobs, jobs," said Governor Chet Culver. "I want to thank Pioneer for continuing to choose the state of Iowa as a place to grow their business and create jobs. Today's announcement is one more sign of what we have known all along — that with our highly skilled workforce, inviting business climate and quality of life, Iowa is a great place for business. As Governor, I will not rest when it comes to helping Iowa businesses to expand business and create jobs like these in the state."
Increasing food production is a priority initiative for DuPont. The company invests about half of its $1.4 billion annual research and development budget to furthering this goal.