County to vote on Cook Medical incentives today

County to vote on Cook Medical incentives today
September 20
05:00 2018

Company is asking for $2.4 million to keep 650 jobs in the city

County Commissioners will vote today on an incentive deal for nearly $2.4 million over 10 years for Cook Medical to stay in Winston-Salem.

Cook Medical’s current local campus, located off Bethania Station Road, has 200,000 square feet across numerous buildings where 650 full-time employees work. The company has run out of room to expand at its current location and has had an extensive search for a new home.

Cook designs, develops and manufactures minimally invasive devices for 41 medical specialties in 135 countries.

Scott Sewell, Cook’s vice president of Technology Acquisition and Development, said the company was unable to find a suitable spot in Forsyth County after looking for two years, but found a “perfect” location with 75 acres of green space in Stokes County. At the urging of Winston-Salem Business Inc., the company took a second look at Whitaker Park, a business park being developed from buildings and land donated by Reynolds American. The requested incentive is to offset the cost of transforming one of those buildings into a medical device manufacturing facility.

“The cost for Cook Medical to go into that facility in Whitaker Park is much more expensive than it would be to go to Stokes County and build a brand-new facility with exactly what we need and also have additional acreage for future growth,” said Sewell.

The incentive deal county commissioners will vote on today, Sept. 20, is up to $2,387,550 over a 10-year period. This is approximately 60 percent of property taxes that will be generated by the capital investments, which is $3,979,250. The agreement is contingent on the company making at least $55 million in building capital investment over one year and adding at least 50 new full-time or full-time equivalent jobs with an average wage of at least $38,000 over 10 years along with retaining the current 650 jobs. Sewell said he expected the company to add more than 50 employees as Cook continues to grow.

Cook Medical is a family-owned company founded in 1963 in Bloomington, Indiana. It has over 12,000 employees worldwide. Sewell said that the company has never had a layoff in the United States.

The City of Winston-Salem already approved incentives of up to $2,464,275 over 10 years for Cook. Officials with the project will also appeal to state government for assistance as well.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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