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Wilson pharmaceutical plant to expand

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A biopharmaceutical company plans to expand its Wilson facility. A press release from the Governor’s Office says that Merck plans a $57 million expansion at its Wilson facility, bringing 55 new jobs to the plant. The expansion will allow the plant to produce a vaccine used to prevent rotavirus gastroenteritis in children. It’s the second expansion announced by Merck this year involving the Wilson operation. In July Merck announced expansion of facilities in Durham and Wilson to produce an HPV vaccine. Average wage for the new positions will be over $59,000, compared to the current Wilson County average wage of just over $44,000. Merck will be eligible for a $200,000 grant from the state contingent on meeting job creation and investment targets.

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George Olsen is a 1977 Havelock High School graduate. He received his B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the University of South Carolina in 1982 where he got his first taste of non-commercial radio working for their student station WUSC. After graduation he worked about five years in commercial radio before coming to work at Public Radio East where he has remained since outside of a nearly 3-year stint as jazz and operations coordinator at WUAL in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the early 1990s. On his return to eastern North Carolina he hosted classical music for Public Radio East before moving into the Morning Edition host position and now can be heard on All Things Considered. He also hosts and produces The Sound, five hours of Americana, Roots Rock and Contemporary Folk weekday evenings on PRE Public Radio East News & Ideas, and is a news and feature producer for Public Radio East.