A company that employs 2,400 people in Iowa and 9,500 worldwide is planning a $154 million expansion at its headquarters in Johnston. Pioneer Hi-Bred International President Paul Schickler says it’s an investment in plant genetics research and people.
The expansion will include 400 new jobs. Schickler says the new workers, on average, will be paid 130% more than the average wage in central Iowa. “We also anticipate a good share of the 400 jobs – because they are research-oriented, laboratory positions requiring advanced degrees – will be in the neighborhood of $100,000,” Schickler said.
The expansion project on the Pioneer campus in Johnston will include three new buildings covering more than 200,000 square feet. Schickler says construction is expected to start in September and the buildings should be ready for workers in early 2012.
Governor Chet Culver attended today’s announcement at Pioneer. he says the state will contribute $7.8 million to the project. Most of that money comes from the Iowa Values Fund. Around $500,000 is designated for job training. Pioneer is owned by DuPont and has 12 production facilites and six research locations in Iowa.