West Plans Plant Expansion In Lenoir County

A shot in the arm for Lenoir County's economy. West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. will expand, creating 154 jobs and investing $18.7 million during the next three years.

West's Kinston plant was rebuilt after a deadly fire and explosion in 2003 killed six workers. Inspectors later blamed the explosion on flammable rubber dust that accumulated above a suspended ceiling and somehow suddenly caught fire.

Governor Mike Easley says today that West's plans to expand in North Carolina is a clear indication of the value of the state's skilled workforce.

West products include stoppers and seals for vials and components used in syringes, intravenous delivery systems and blood collection and diagnostic systems.

The company says the average weekly wage of the new jobs will be $665 plus benefits, which is higher than the Lenoir County average weekly wage of $506 not including benefits.