RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Seeking to help biopharma manufacturers find employees for growing operations in North Carolina, the NC Biotech Center is rolling out Bio Jobs Hub.

“Have you considered a career in biopharma manufacturing,” the site asks.

“A biopharma manufacturing career isn’t just for scientists. All kinds of people with different skills and backgrounds work at fulfilling jobs in this field. Whether you’re looking to enter the industry or reset your job path, launching a biomanufacturing career is easier than you think.”

Jobs are available right now across the state’s life science sector in:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Food industry
  • Agriculture
  • Veterinary sciences
  • Environmental sciences
  • And more

Even as North Carolina’s economy struggles and unemployment rate above 6% as the COVID-19 pandemic drags into a secord year, NC medicine manufacturing firms have jobs to fill.

Already there are success stories to share, which are included in the site that was developed as a partnership between the Biotech Center and WRAL Digital Solutions.

“As we were compiling content for the site, we heard some incredible stories. People were inspired to work in the life sciences because of a personal struggle, or a family member who had an illness,” said Robin Deacle, the NC Biotech Center’s vice president of corporate communications.

“Sometimes it was treatable, sometimes it wasn’t. It reminded me that, beyond the economic promise of a good-paying job, this work makes a difference in the lives of people in North Carolina and around the world. How cool is it to make the things that heal people? And these jobs are so accessible. I hope more people give this site a look.”

Bio Jobs Hub

The site includes a broad array of information about not just jobs by companies, where to find training and much more.

In a Q&A, Deacle talked with WRAL TechWire about Bio Jobs Hub.

  • Why did you choose to launch this project?

North Carolina now has 30,000 people working in biomanufacturing. More than 3,000 of those jobs were added in 2020, partially in response to the pandemic. The state also has a reputation as a leader in making pharmaceutical and biological products, and we lead the US in a subset of those jobs – biological product manufacturing. So more companies are announcing expansions here. We had more than 3,000 life sciences jobs announced overall in 2020; 2,300 were in manufacturing.

All those numbers add up to a need for talent. Our mission is to help those jobs go to North Carolina residents. And unemployment has skyrocketed during the pandemic. We wanted to tell more people – people who wouldn’t call themselves scientists – about these opportunities. The site, through much collaboration with our biopharma companies and training partners, came together late last year to do just that.

The site is also the first step in the path to a life sciences job. Through federal CARES act funding, we were able to target information sessions and training programs specifically to those who lost jobs curing COVID-19.

  • What are the primary goals of the project?

A lot of people go through school and struggle with math and science. They think they can’t have a job in this field, let alone a full career. So this site goes beyond the bench, so to speak, and shows the many opportunities in biologics and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Process is an important part of these jobs, and can be learned with a streamlined training program from our community colleges. People can advance at life sciences companies with more community college or university training, and sometimes the companies will pay for the additional training.

Our goal, then, in creating this site was to put that information in one place so that more people can discover a life sciences career for themselves. As we say – changing lives, even yours.

  • How can companies participate in the project?

This initial part of this project focused on the more than 80 sites statewide that are manufacturing facilities. We have featured employees at these facilities in our content, and we’re always looking for new people to put in the spotlight. The site content will grow this year to represent the full breadth of life sciences jobs in the state. As we add ag tech, contract research and traditional bench research options to the site, we’ll have opportunities for more companies to participate.

  • Why did you select WRAL Digital Solutions to produce the site?

WRAL Digital Solutions, like NCBiotech, has a statewide reach. In a survey of just 58 company sites, we found that workers commute from 93 of North Carolina’s 100 counties. We want to increase the number of counties, and the number of employees from counties outside of RTP. So WRAL Digital’s reach was important. Second, the team brought enthusiasm and experience to the project. While they were new to the ins and outs of biotech, they quickly saw the promise of inspiring people to consider a meaningful job. Together, we were able to achieve bigger results than either of us could have achieved separately. That’s a good partnership.

I’m not sure, but we may have persuaded a couple of the WRAL Digital team to look at some life sciences training options. That’s a good project.

  • Do you anticipate further additions in the near future?

Our plan is to expand the content to represent the diversity of North Carolina’s life sciences industry. Our contract research and testing companies represent nearly 25,000 jobs statewide. These companies also need talent, with a slightly different profile than biopharma manufacturing companies.

Ag tech represents another 100 or so companies that build on the state’s historical economic strength. And we have plenty of research and development companies taking ideas from research at our universities and developing those ideas into commercial products.

We have a lot of stories to tell, and we appreciate the partnership with WRAL Digital to get those stories to more people.