The biopharmaceutical company expects to open a facility sometime in 2022.
Frederick, Md (KM) Work is underway at the Frederick County Office of Economic Development to help get Ellume up and running locally. Executive Director Helen Propheter says the Australian-based biopharmaceutical company will locate its headquarters at Progress Labs at Executive Court off of Route 85.
“We’re going to work with the Ellume team to help them get their building permits issued as quickly as possible. So they can be up and making in-home test kits for COVID,” she says.
Elllume has received a $210-million contract with the US Department of Defense to manufacture COVID-19 test kits.
Propheter also says the County Workforce Services team will be busy helping Ellume find the employees its needs. “Now until the end of 2022, they plan on bringing on a workforce of 1400. So that’s a lot of work,” she says. “That’s a lot of looking at resumes, interviewing and selecting the right candidates to help Ellume succeed.”
She says the company should be able to tap into a pipeline of workers from the local school system, and Hood College, Mount Saint Mary’s University and Frederick Community College to fill those positions. “I absolutely sold Frederick County on having a great pipeline for workforce for Ellume,” says Propheter.
While she hopes most of the workforce will come from Frederick County, Propheter says some of Ellume’s employees could come from surrounding jurisdictions in Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Last week, the County Council approved a $400,000 property tax credit for Ellume. Propheter says the approval was needed so that Ellume could receive a $2-million loan from Advantage Maryland, which is run by the State Department Commerce. “Part of that law in order to allow the State of Maryland to give out this incentive is that there needs to be at least at 10% match by the local community which would be Frederick County’s,” she says.
The company is expected to be in operation by early next year, if all goes well, according to Propheter.
The nation and the world is in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Ellume is concentrating on making test kits for this virus. But Propheter says it has the ability to manufacture test kits for other illnesses after the pandemic wanes. “Their first priority is COVID-19,” she says. “But with this type of science that they have, they can unveil a series of test kits in the future.”
By Kevin McManus