A ribbon was snipped yesterday to mark the opening of a global blood and plasma testing lab in Norcross. The second location of QualTex laboratories will bring 100 skilled medical and management jobs and $12 million in investment over a five-year period, according to the company.
“It took a village to raise this building, I can tell you,” said Dr. Norman D. Kalmin, the CEO and President of QualTex, giving nods to Commissioner Shirley Lasseter, Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson, Nick Masino at the Gwinnett Chamber and Emory Morsberger at the Georgia Department of Economic Development for helping him seal the deal on the location.
“In this tough economic environment, we are pleased to contribute to this growth that is going to happen in Norcross and Gwinnett County,” he said.
Kalmin said the company chose Norcross because of the access to a good airport, skilled labor force, friendly business environment—and the good weather. Kalmin joked with a crowd of Gwinnett officials and QualTex employees that Norcross, like San Antonio, doesn’t have much snow.
With the expansion at 4258 Communications Drive, the company will have the ability to test 8 million samples per year. “We’d like to get up to capacity as soon as we could,” said Dennis Stahl, a QualTex board member, mentioning that he’s already signed checks that add up to $8.5 million for the expansion.
“All the money you’ve spent and signed away, we love you for it,” joked Lasseter as she welcomed the company and its employees to Gwinnett.
Masino pointed to the growth of the area he referred to as the Innovation Crescent. He said that 90 percent of the life sciences in the area are between Atlanta and Athens.
The state-of-the-art facility was pristine when the ribbon was cut at the opening, with over 17,000 square feet of the 57,000 square foot facility still standing empty for future expansion.
The company was first established in 2007 as an affiliate of the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center. The original laboratory and headquarters is located in San Antonio, Texas.