This is the North Carolina your parents and
grandparents remember: farming, textiles, manufacturing jobs. Here is what North Carolina now looks like
for high school graduates who are motivated, energetic and up to the challenge of joining
the biotech team. This network of more than 450 biotech companies
already provides thousands of challenging, high paying jobs for bioprocessing operators,
chemical and mechanical engineers, quality controllers and lab technicians. And as the industry expands,
so will the opportunities for jobs in North Carolina. “Biotechnology is successful in North Carolina
because of the state university and community college
systems, the healthcare systems that have been set
up, and the broad scope of industry in the area.
Agricultural, marine, health, and medicine… so there’s a huge spectrum that can apply
biotechnlogy in one facet or another.” For some, like Frank Williams who tried several
jobs after finishing high school in Pitt county,
a career in biotech has been exactly the right fit. “I was able to take advantage of the Trade
Adjustment Assistance Act to go back to school and I was looking
and biotechnology is where it was. I was trained more for Biotech, splicing DNA,
things like that. Now I do analytical chemistry.
All the skills I learned in the associate degree program
gave me the hands-on knowledge that most people don’t get
until they get into the master’s level at a 4-year college.” You might be a part of a team researching
how to improve farming, or working in a lab or bio-manufacturing plant
to make the drugs and products we use every day safer and more effective. “The job I had in the past, if I made a
mistake, the paper tore up, no big deal. Nobody got
hurt, we could do it again. But if something goes
wrong here, if we don’t do it right, it could actually
hurt someone… some of my family members…some of your family
members, so we take pride in what we do and I think
it’s a big responsibility. That’s why I enjoy doing it.” Whether you’re just starting out after high
school or looking for a new career challenge,
North Carolina’s Community Colleges and BioNetwork provide you with the flexible class training
schedule and the hands-on work experience you need
to be successful. “The ideal person for this job would be a
person that is dedicated, that can manage more than
one thing at a time. You have 2 or 3 jobs going on at one time
so you have to be able to prioritize your work
so your supervisor doesn’t have to tap you on the back and say
“Are you doing this? Are you doing that?” You have to be motivated to do your job by
yourself and work as a team.” “When I was younger, I quit school and I
came back to school later in life…I got my family going and
then I came back to school, so I was a little more focused, but as long
as you pay attention, and you don’t have to have a 1,000 math
classes, I mean it’s hard work but anybody can do
it. I’m living proof. You put your time in working in school
but once you get over that hurdle, it’s so much easier than laboring.
I was a garbage man, I drove a truck for Coca cola and a tractor trailer.
I’ve done just about everything it seems like
and I’m blessed to be here now.” So what exactly IS bioprocessing?
Basically, it’s the use of living organisms to create practical products and solutions
for both daily and long-term challenges in health care, nutrition,
and the environment… You probably aren’t even aware of how much
your life is affected by the research and practical
applications created by the biotech industry and then developed
by manufacturing companies all over the world. In fact, many of the products we use every
day, such as vitamins, antibiotics, cheese,
bread, beer and wine, ink, cosmetics, shampoo, food additives,
paint and petroleum products are all dependent one way or another on the biotech industry. “The rate of growth in the industry is just
tremendous and we’re just now cracking the potential.
When you start looking at things like personalized medicine and being able to direct treatments
to specific genes and things like that… this is what I think makes the scope of this
industry tremendous and the challenge tremendous in the future.” “Here at Novo Nordisk we’re a producer
of insulin for diabetes for all over the United States
and other countries. We make the flex pens. We also have vials, cartridges and we ship
them out in five packs. It makes me happy and proud to be part of
knowing that I was a part of the process of developing
or assembling the flex pen because I have a bunch of
relatives that are diabetic and I know a bunch of people that are diabetic.
…Hey I made that! So it makes me feel really good knowing that.
When I was firefighting, I was helping people when
they were in need, injured, or in an emergency. Now I’m helping people trying to fight a
disease.” “This has been one of the best industries
I’ve ever worked in my life and have been across several,
from manufacturing based to sales based to Cable TV repair.
You name it, I’ve done it and this is by far the best!” To find out about courses and training opportunities
available near you, go online to ncbionetwork.org. Bioprocessing. Come join us on the edge.