DURHAM – Despite an increasing number of layoffs sweeping through North Carolina last month, Novo Nordisk is looking to hire workers across the Triangle, including employees that would be based in its two Clayton facilities, an executive outlined to WRAL TechWire.

But this hiring push is not new.  According to Chad Henry, corporate vice president and general manager, the company now employs more than 1,600 workers in North Carolina, an increase of 900 employees in the last six years, or an average of 150 net new workers hired each year.

And the company is seeking more talented workers interested in joining its North Carolina workforce.

“We are currently hiring for more than 200 positions across our three facilities as we seek to meet the growing demand for injectable and oral diabetes products and obesity medicines globally,” said Henry.  To meet that demand, the company is ramping up its operational capacity, adding new products and additional 24-hour shift teams, he noted.

That’s led to needing to hire more talented workers to the company’s largest manufacturing footprint in all of the United States, said Henry.

“We remain committed to being a responsible business leader and demonstrating our commitment to increasing the talent pipeline with our local higher education partners,” Henry told WRAL TechWire in an interview.  “When we think about the macroeconomics for the state, the biotech industry is poised and ready to be the premier career destination for residents to support a dwindling unemployment rate.”

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Looking to hire is important, but so is retention

The company’s been recruiting in the Triangle for many years, Henry noted, which has paid dividends during hiring growth, like the last six years.

But, said Henry, the company isn’t solely focused on recruiting new workers.

“While we have a strong focus on hiring, employee retention is just as important,” he said.  “We prioritize our culture, professional development, benefits and work-life balance.”

And there’s been a renewed focus on the company’s tactics to recruit and retain talent, including expanding recruitment from community colleges and from the nation’s military veterans, said Henry.  Many roles at the company do not require a four-year degree, and the company provides on-the-job training for those seeking to add skills.

Those programs are available to other workers, too, noted Henry, and the company is seeing internal growth, as well.

“In addition to our growth and increased hiring in the region, the opportunity for advancement and internal mobility at Novo Nordisk has also increased with nearly one out of every three roles filled internally,” Henry told WRAL TechWire.

The company expanded to a second facility in Clayton in 2016, where it operates an active pharmaceutical ingredients production facility.  In 2019, the company acquired the Durham facility, which Henry said will package the API manufactured at the Clayton facilities, thereby closing the loop in production such that it will “create a U.S.-to-U.S. production of oral GLP-1 tablets for the treatment for Type 2 diabetes for the U.S. market.”

Representatives from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) visited a Triangle Novo Nordisk facility in May as a part of the $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge, for which a final decision will be made in September 2022, WRAL TechWire previously reported.