Pima County supports rapid growth of biotech firm driving innovation in patient careby Pima County News on Oct. 15, 2013, under Board of Supervisors, Economic Development, Pima County, Southern Arizona
Four employment benchmarks were established when Pima County and the State of Arizona worked together in 2012 to secure space in the County’s health department building for a startup biotech firm, Accelerate Diagnostics.
Throughout a three-year period, Accelerate agreed to hire at least 15 workers making more than $65,000, then 30, then 40, and ultimately ratcheting up to 65 by 2016.
Accelerate is already employing 50 workers making an average salary more than $100,000. Its original 15,000 square foot footprint in the Herbert K. Abrams public health building will grow another 4,500 square feet, with approval from the Pima County Board of Supervisors Tuesday to accommodate an expansion that will translate into as many as 26 additional new workers next year. The company is developing a rapid infection-detection testing system that identifies pathogens much more quickly than current technology allows.
“We’re pleased with the quality of employees we’ve been able to recruit thus far,” said Steve Reichling, Accelerate’s chief financial officer. “We were given three years to achieve four milestones, and we’ve already achieved three of those four in just one year.”
Interested parties should watch the website http://acceleratediagnostics.com/ over the next few months for information about future job postings.
Under the terms of the agreement, Accelerate will reimburse the County for the cost of improving the space, up to a maximum amount of $400,000 plus interest, in monthly installments amortized over the remaining terms of the lease.
Reichling thanked the County for its willingness to support the company’s growth. “The County has been a great partner to us, first in building a great initial facility, and now in supporting our immediate growth needs. To expand at our current location will allow us to grow more quickly.”
Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said the lease is a win-win for taxpayers quite aside from the jobs, since the County has a paying tenant in otherwise unused space. “Jobs are our No. 1 priority, so we’re pleased to see our initiative and our investment exceeding expectations,” Huckelberry said.