State officials, county educators, local government leaders and economic development supporters joined executives from Novo Nordisk and Grifols Oct. 1 to celebrate the reopening of the newly remodeled Johnston County Workforce Development Center. The ribbon-cutting comes after a $1.3 million renovation of the 30,000-square-foot training facility, which opened in 2005 with a mission to support Johnston County’s growing bio-manufacturing industry.
Johnston County, Johnston County’s Office of Economic Development and Johnston Community College created the center in partnership with local bio-pharma firms. Today, Grifols and Novo Nordisk help fund the center’s operations through a special assessment as part of a state-created Research and Training Zone.
“The creation of this state-of-the-art simulated drug manufacturing environment will enable the college to better train skilled employees for our bio-manufacturing industries,” said Dr. David Johnson, president of Johnston Community College, which operates the center. “We remain so grateful to Grifols, Novo Nordisk, the RTZ and the Johnston County Office of Economic Development for their support in making this transformation a reality. Together, we’re filling the talent pipeline and ensuring the long-range success of our bio-pharma industry and Johnston County’s broader economy.”
Renovations to the center began in late April. The work has transformed the center from its previous academic layout to a design that replicates the bio-pharma workspaces its trainees will encounter when they go to work at Grifols or Novo Nordisk. The center will offer hands-on lab training and simulation opportunities, for example, using real-world bio-manufacturing environments.
Photo cutline: Johnston Community College biotech students like Tiffany Vasquez will now be able to learn how to manufacture medicine in a simulated drug environment in the renovated Workforce Development Center.