Novo Nordisk Gives Record $6M to Durham Tech's Life Sciences Program, Training Center


Life Sciences Building rendering.
Life Sciences Building rendering. -- Durham Tech images

Novo Nordisk, a leading global healthcare company that produces innovative medicines to treat diabetes and rare blood disorders, announces a $6 million gift to Durham Technical Community College to support the College’s life sciences program and a new 35,000-square-foot Life Sciences Training Center. This donation was presented today at a news conference on Durham Tech’s Main Campus.

“Today’s announcement is about a company’s investment in the people of this region. It’s not just big news for Durham Tech and the high-quality education and training it will enable us to provide, it’s life-changing news for the thousands of local residents who will benefit and go on to great jobs in a growing and important industry,” said J. B. Buxton, president of Durham Tech. “This marks the largest donation in our college’s history, and we are proud to partner with Novo Nordisk and their commitment to creating economic opportunity for the people of Durham and our greater Triangle region.”  

Novo Nordisk, with three manufacturing facilities across Durham and Clayton, is celebrating its 30 years in the Triangle. This donation is part of Novo Nordisk’s decades-long effort to support the growth of the local biotechnology sector. With nearly 1,800 employees across the region, ensuring a strong, resilient workforce for the future is a top priority for Novo Nordisk, as the company has plans to continue expanding its biomanufacturing operations. 

“Novo Nordisk is committed to ensuring that both individuals planning their future careers and those seeking a transition understand and have access to the promise that a career in life sciences can bring,” said Shaylah Nunn Jones, Novo Nordisk’s government and public affairs lead. “Through this partnership with Durham Tech, we will provide apprenticeships, internships, scholarship programs, and the latest biotech equipment to train the future workforce, and that is exciting. We are proud of our region’s dynamic biotech industry and are thrilled to help expand and diversify our talent pipeline.”

Shaylah Nunn Jones, Novo Nordisk’s government and public affairs lead,
announces $6 million gift at news conference.

With the support of Novo Nordisk, Durham Tech will be able to: 

  • Establish a Biotechnology Associate of Applied Science degree program (for current college students).
  • Create onsite training for biotechnology career transition programs to upskill/reskill existing employees and other related workforce training partnerships.
  • Ensure students are prepared on biotechnology equipment.
  • Provide outreach and awareness for area middle and high school students.

As part of the ongoing partnership with Durham Tech, Novo Nordisk will have a full- and part-time employee serve in the professor-in-residence program; offer apprenticeships, internships and scholarship programs; and purchase select necessary biotech training equipment for the Center. The new Life Sciences Training Center is expected to be completed in 2026, with a groundbreaking later this year.

"Partnerships between community colleges and thriving businesses in North Carolina are the heart of growth for our state," said Bill Carver, Interim President of the North Carolina Community College System. "This is a great day for Durham and Durham Technical Community College as we once again see the power of investing in community college-led talent pipelines that bring diverse employees to a booming economy."

In November, Durham County residents voted in overwhelming numbers to support a $112.7 million bond referendum for Durham Tech that included the construction of a 35,000 square foot, state-of-the-art Life Sciences Training Center

“This investment by Novo Nordisk, along with the support of the 2022 bond referendum by Durham County voters, will allow Durham Tech to deepen our commitment to the life sciences sector, expand our degree programs and short-term workforce training, and build a skilled, diverse talent pipeline for the region,” said Buxton. 

About Novo Nordisk

Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2023, Novo Nordisk is a leading global healthcare company, founded in 1923 and headquartered in Denmark. Our purpose is to drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases, such as obesity and rare blood and endocrine disorders. We do so by pioneering scientific breakthroughs, expanding access to our medicines, and working to prevent and ultimately cure disease. Novo Nordisk employs about 50,800 people in 80 countries and markets its products in around 170 countries. In North Carolina, we invested close to $4.5 billion, and our Durham and Clayton manufacturing facilities employ nearly 1,800 professionals. For more information, visit Novo Nordisk’s website at

About Durham Technical Community College 

Durham Tech serves more than 18,000 students annually across seven campuses in Durham and Orange counties and online. The college serves eligible North Carolina high school students, high school and college graduates, international students, veterans, and adults returning to school to complete their high school education or earn a postsecondary degree. Durham Tech programs include the arts, engineering, education, health care, information technology, life sciences, public safety, and business administration. Continuing education courses include career enhancement in automotive, culinary arts, hospitality, and biotechnology; English as a second language; and personal enrichment opportunities, such as health and wellness and photography. As a leader in educational, workforce and economic development, Durham Tech is committed to equipping its students with the knowledge, skills and networks needed to succeed in college, work and life – and to help improve the quality of life in Durham and Orange counties.

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