Above: Tom Sellig, LabConnect CEO, addresses a socially distanced crowd of community and business leaders prior to the ribbon-cutting
LabConnect has been conducting medical lab work and clinical trials in Johnson City since 2015, and announced it planned to move its corporate headquarters from Seattle to Johnson City in April, 2020. The COVID crisis, however, forced a delay in officially announcing the company’s plans for the region. A ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 8 celebrated LabConnect’s plans to invest more than $8 million and more than double the number of jobs in Johnson City. The company currently employs around 200 people and has committed to hiring an additional 200. The company employs 340 people worldwide. It has doubled in size in the last two-and-a half years.
“We work really closely with Ballad Health,” LabConnect CEO Tom Sellig told media. Ballad does a lot of our lab testing for some of the clinical studies we are in, so that partnership was important.”
Before the ribbon-cutting, the company announced plans to expand its biorepository services area at the Silverdale Road facility. It has already expanded once in Johnson City, purchasing the former Blue Bell Ice Cream space adjacent to its current location in 2018.
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership all contributed to an economic incentive package to bring LabConnect’s expansion and corporate headquarters to the region.
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, who was on hand for the ribbon-cutting, praised LabConnect for its work in addressing COVID-19. “It is one of the companies addressing the global crises that we find ourselves in,” Lee said. “I’ve learned more than ever in the last six months that there are no easy answers, especially when there’s very little knowledge about what you’re dealing with. The degree with which knowledge can be generated and assimilated so decisions can be made – when companies like this company step up to address a challenge the entire world faces, that’s happening right here in Tennessee as we navigate our way through what are certainly the most challenging of days.”