Medical Manufacturer Makes Meaningful Economic Impact

Pete CodellaNews, Tax Credits

Varian Medical Systems (NYSE:VAR) , along with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, announced today that Varian is expanding its existing Salt Lake City operation, a move that Varian estimates will lead to the creation of 1,000 new full-time jobs over the coming 15 years.

“Utah has a world class medical community of developers and service deliverers,” said Governor Gary R. Herbert. “The continued expansion of Varian Medical here will help to elevate Utah’s recognition around the world as a leader in R&D and manufacturing of medical products.”

Varian is a leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, proton therapy and brachytherapy. Varian is a premier supplier of X-ray tubes and digital image detectors for X-ray imaging in medical, scientific and industrial applications. It also supplies X-ray imaging products for cargo screening and industrial inspection.

“Varian’s X-ray technology manufacturing operations have been part of the Utah economy since the early 1940s,” said Dow Wilson, Varian’s CEO. “Today, some 70% of the orders for our X-ray products come from customers outside the U.S., making us one of Utah’s largest exporters. Utah has proven to be an excellent place to operate our business. Here we’re able to find the engineering and technical talent that we need to fulfill our mission of making world-class medical products that are used to save lives around the world. We appreciate the support of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development as we scale our operations to meet a growing demand for our products.”

Salt Lake City is the headquarters for Varian’s X-ray products manufacturing operation. The expansion of the Utah facility will add 120,000 square feet to the existing 341,000 square-foot building. Varian expects to make an estimated capital investment of $40 million for new construction at the site.

The expansion will add additional space for Varian’s flat panel image detector and X-ray tube product lines, while permitting the company to add new products, pursue new business and increase capacity. The capital outlay will include cleanrooms, R&D laboratories, expanded manufacturing space and administrative offices. The expansion will include a facility that will enable the company to perform a panel production process in-house that is currently being outsourced.

The GOED Board of Directors has approved a tax credit of some $7.1 million in the form of a post-performance Economic Development Tax Increment Finance (EDTIF) incentive, in anticipation of receiving more than $35 million from Varian in new state tax revenues over the fifteen year life of the agreement. Each year as Varian meets the criteria in its contracts with the state, it will earn a portion of the tax credit. Over the 15-year period the company will also pay out more than $400 million in new state wages. All of the incented jobs will pay at least 125 percent of Salt Lake County’s average annual wage including company contributed health insurance.

“We congratulate Varian Medical on the expansion of their Utah operations,” said Jeff Edwards, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. “Utah’s business-friendly environment allows us to support the continued expansion of existing companies, giving Utah companies a reason to expand and grow here.”

For more information on Varian Medical Systems including job opportunities, go to Varian offers a profit sharing plan, comprehensive benefits including health care, holiday and vacation benefits, and performance incentive plans. Last year the average manufacturing employee was paid an average of $8,000 in addition to salary under the performance incentive plan.