North Carolina Economic Development Guide

2016

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51 North Carolina Economic Development Guide equipment, it's explained in the business's vocabulary and often inside its building. Training also is delivered electronically through videos and e-learning experiences, including 3-D virtual work environments. Little says about 97% of customized training is for manufacturers such as Spirit. They also include biomanufacturers such as drugmakers, whose statewide expansion is especially noticeable in the historically agrarian eastern counties. Durham-based drugmaker Patheon Inc., for example, is investing $159 million and adding almost 500 jobs at its Greenville plant by 2019. And Denmark-based Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced last summer that it's building a $1.2 billion insulin factory and hiring 700 people in Johnston County, where it already employs that many. Both companies cited availability of workforce development programs in their decisions. The system's BioNetwork handles workforce training for biomanufacturers. It started in 2004 with a grant from Rocky Mount-based Golden LEAF Foundation, which uses the state's share of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement to transform the economy in once tobacco- dependent communities. "We evolved with the industry's need," says BioNetwork Executive Director Maria Pharr. That process never stops. In March 2015, Golden LEAF gave Pitt Community College $650,000 and East Carolina University $1.1 million to collaborate on the Biopharmaceutical Work Force Development Manufacturing Center of Excellence. It Capstone hosts a variety of courses, including the proper use of gowns and gloves and analytical lab skills.

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