Launch Your Next Career in the Life Sciences
Maybe you haven’t made the connection, but we have. Your military experience has prepared you for a fulfilling career in biopharmaceutical manufacturing.
Discipline, integrity, leadership, adaptability and attention to detail are shared values between experienced military personnel and life sciences professionals. Whether you are a former Airman, Soldier, Marine, Sailor or Coast Guardsman, your experience can land you a new career in the life sciences.
In the life sciences community we share a common drive: a compassion to serve. If you are a Military Veteran, Service Member in Transition or Military Spouse, we invite you to explore our portal and start your pathway to your next rewarding career in the life sciences.
Thank you for your service.
Visit the NCBiotech COVID-19 Resource page for a list of resources and event updates.
Veterans in Biopharma
These stories and quotes from program participants, industry partners, and military members who have entered into the biopharma manufacturing sector highlight the reward that comes with working in the life science industry.
“To my fellow service members, as you are considering your civilian career goals, my advice to you is look beyond your comfort zone. Keep an open mind and be willing to step outside of what feels comfortable. The soft skills learned in the Military; strict adherence to following procedures, drive to achieve results, and problem-solving skills are highly valued. My MOS or Military Occupational Code was Public Affairs Mass Communication Specialist. If I had stayed in my comfort zone, I would have shied away from the opportunity to accept a Military Intern Bioprocess Technician role made available to me through the NCBiotech Veterans Outreach Program.
Don’t underestimate your skills. I found through my internship and BioWork training that Biopharma manufacturing is where I want to be in my civilian career. I stepped outside of my comfort zone and would not have changed a thing. To my fellow service members and military spouses, I also recommend you consider completing the BioWork Certification Program offered at some of the Community Colleges. For me, I completed the program at Central Carolina Community College and had a blast! It’s a program designed for the adult learner, industry specific, and the program instructor was great. For me, completing the BioWork certification program while on my Military Internship was instrumental as all the work I was performing and why I was doing it became crystal clear. I had such a great experience I’ve volunteered to support an upcoming video project.
In closing, I’ll leave my fellow service members, veterans, and military spouses with this: I once had a Sergeant Major who would often say “every day is a selection”. He meant every day you must prove you belong here. I have found those words were true. If continuing to serve others in your civilian career is important to you, the biopharma manufacturing industry allows you to continue to serve others while using all the skill assets you developed while serving our great country. Take the initiative to explore military internships in biopharma manufacturing or take the BioWork Certification class. Think outside your comfort zone and give it a go! I did and now I’m fully engaged in my civilian career working as a full-time Bioprocess Technician with Pfizer.”
John Nicolas, Army Veteran, Former Military Intern, Bioprocess Technician with Pfizer-Sanford, NC
Jose Resto retired from his 22-year Army career on May 1, 2021 and he was ready for a new challenge. On August 30, he became a full-time Pfizer employee, converting his military experience in warehouse operations into a satisfying new career opportunity.
Thanks to a partnership between the U.S. Army’s Soldier for Life transition assistance program and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Resto received the life sciences training needed to transfer his warehouse management skills into a similar position at Pfizer.
Pfizer saw the value of my military training and experience and understood how the skills I had gained through my years of training and military experience would transfer in to their operation.
Craig Hardy, Navy Veteran, Senior Maintenance Manager, Pfizer
Army Vet Parlays College, Military Experiences into Her Dream Job … in Biotech
After a seven-year stint in the Army Diane moved to Raeford, N.C. in early 2011. She has walked a winding career path that eventually led her to Johnston Community College and its BioWork certificate program.
Today, Zambrano is a government contracting specialist at global healthcare company Grifols in Research Triangle Park, where she is part of the government pricing team. She credits the JCC staff with putting her on the path to a career in the biopharma industry.
Fort Bragg’s Soldier for Life Transition Assistant Program (SFL-TAP) team tours Pfizer-Sanford, NC
In support of the NCBiotech Veterans Outreach Program, Pfizer hosted an experiential site tour for Fort Bragg’s SFL-TAP team. Attendees were welcomed with an overview of the site’s history and an expansive tour explaining biopharma manufacturing processes. Creating opportunities for our military transition assistantance program teams to experience industry operating environments and its culture is an important part of building a robust Veterans Outreach program.
Attendees are pictured left to right: Salmon Ponaport, US Army TAP Team, Raymond Godsave, NC Works, Jerves Shipman, US Army TAP Team, Charles Mitchell, Associate Director of Pfizer Manufacturing, William McMillian, US Army TAP Manager, Elizabeth Ellis, NCBiotech’s Veterans Outreach Program Consultant, and Bill Bullock, NCBiotech’s SVP Economic Development and Statewide Operations
This Leatherneck's Proud of NCBiotech's Veterans Outreach Program
As a Marine, I’m proud of my employer.
People at North Carolina’s huge military bases who are transitioning into civilian life are getting an amazing new opportunity, thanks to the North Carolina Biotechnology Center and its partners.
Believe in yourself and bring forth the mindset that you possessed in the military, such as “adapt and overcome.” The ability to help others by transforming or improving the quality of life for patients and families is the biggest reward one could ask for.
Marine Veteran Charles Marsh, manufacturing specialist, Novartis Gene Therapies
September 30, 2021: Fort Bragg Career Summit
NCBiotech's Veterans Outreach Program will be attending the Hiring our Heroes FORT BRAGG CAREER SUMMIT Connecting World Class Military Talent with American Employers Event. Military community job seekers will have the unique opportunity to meet, network, and interview with regional and national employers at this education and hiring event presented by Fort Bragg.
Come visit the NCBiotech Veterans Outreach table and learn more about Military internships, career opportunities, and training programs in life sciences and biopharma manufacturing! View more info and register.
To our industry partners, if your organization is interested in attending, please register today. Space is limited!
October 2021: Career and Education Fair at the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point
Building 4335 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT
The NCBiotech Center's Veterans Outreach Program is looking forward to attending the Career and Education Fair at the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. We will be sharing info about the many careers and training programs offered in the life sciences and biopharma manufacturing industry. If you are a transitioning Marine, Veteran, or Military spouse you may have transferable skills many industry employers value. Learn more about how to explore these North Carolina civilian careers and training programs. Come see us and let us help you continue your service with a purpose!
Merck is partnering with BioNetwork to host an exclusive Merck Virtual Career Fair. Merck has a strong corporate goal to fill over 100 positions by August. Sign-up today to reserve your spot for this exclusive career event.
- Associate Technician
- Senior Technician
- Lead Technician
- Associate Specialist, Engineering
- Specialist, Engineering
- Associate Specialist, QA
- Specialist, QA
April 21, 2021: Virtual Industry Leadership Forum
Stay tuned for more details and registration.
April 29, 2021: Virtual Biopharma Career Exploration Webinar
Across North Carolina, biopharma manufacturing companies value the skills you have developed during your military career: attention to detail, ability to follow processes, problem-solving capabilities and teamwork to effectively and efficiently get work done. This program is free and open to transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses. Register here.
May 19, 2021: Life sciences / Biopharma Hiring Event
The NCBiotech Veterans Outreach Program and North Carolina for Military Employment (NC4ME) have teamed up to sponsor this exciting event. Visit the NC4ME to learn more about the event and register.
Across North Carolina, biopharma manufacturing companies value the skills you have developed during your military career: attention to detail, ability to follow processes, problem-solving capabilities, and teamwork to effectively and efficiently get work done. This program is free and open to transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses.
Join a team of more than 360 strong, including the region’s finest engineers, automation experts, and professionals specializing in such diverse fields as environmental health and safety, quality assurance, operations, supply chain management, and business/technical analysis.
Why attend? To learn more about a career in biopharma manufacturing and the outstanding education and training opportunities in North Carolina
Who should attend? People of all ages, experience, and educational levels, including community college students, university students, and professionals looking for opportunities to begin or advance their career in biopharmaceutical manufacturing in North Carolina.
Programs & Announcements
Veterans Upward Bound
Veterans Upward Bound is designed to assist veterans in the development of academic and other requisite skills necessary for acceptance and success in a program of postsecondary education. The program provides assessment and enhancement of basic skills through counseling, mentoring, tutoring and academic instruction in the core subject areas.
The Veterans Upward Bound program is led by Central Carolina Community College and is designed to support Veterans residing in the following North Carolina counties:
- Lee County
- Harnett County
- Chatham County
- Johnston County
- Wake County
Become A Mentor with Veterati
Are you passionate about sharing your industry expertise? Have you thought about utilizing that knowledge to mentor a Veteran, Transitioning Service Member, or Military Spouse?
If you answered yes, consider becoming a mentor with Veterati. Whether you are a civilian or Veteran working in the life sciences sector, you possess critical knowledge valued by mentees exploring their next career path. Visit the website below to learn how you can put your passion to good use.
North Carolina Workforce Development
Transformation Talks Episode 4
As North Carolina’s life science communities grow, a key concern is having enough qualified workers to fill positions requiring specialized skills. NCBiotech is tackling this issue with new programs focused on providing veterans and high school students with career pathways to pharma/biomanufacturing. These programs strive to match highly qualified veterans and students with unfilled positions at the state’s pharma and biopharma companies.
Note: This podcast was recorded in early March 2020. NCBiotech remains committed to ensuring a qualified pharma/biomanufacturing workforce given its importance in addressing the challenges brought on by the COVID19 pandemic and other significant human health needs.
Skills and Experience Built for Your Next Opportunity
As you close your military chapter and explore your next path, we hope you'll stay in North Carolina and consider a life science career. Careers in the life sciences offer excellent pay and benefits, personal and professional growth potential, and a great way to continue your commitment to service with a purpose. These careers save lives and deliver a better quality of life at home, and across the globe.
Your military experience and training have prepared you for roles in these business categories. As you explore your next career move, take a look at the following sampling of positions found in many North Carolina biopharma manufacturing companies.
- Manufacturing technicians
- Product schedulers
- Sampling technicians
- Production leads and supervisor roles
Distribution and packaging operations
Engineering and facilities operations
- Maintenance Technicians
- Utilities / HVAC / Process
- Water / Waste / Wifi Systems
- Instrumentation and Calibration
- Environmental Health and Safety
Supply chain logistics
- Production and Materials Planning
- Vendor Management / Buyers
BioWork Certificate Program
The BioWork certificate program will equip you with the skills needed to start your next career in life sciences. The 136-hour program prepares participants for a job as a process technician for a biotechnology, pharmaceutical, or chemical manufacturing company.
What is covered in BioWork? Topics include:
- Biotechnology Industry and Job Overview
- Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP)
- Process Flows, Technology, and Equipment
- Controlling the Process and Maintaining Quality
- Fermentation and Cell Growth
- Job Search, Resumes, and Interviews
Ten community colleges across the state offer BioWork. Find a location near you.
Former military members complete their BioWork Certification and celebrate at a luncheon hosted by Pfizer.
Pictured Left to Right: Elizabeth Ellis-NCBiotech Veterans Outreach Program Lead, Craig Hardy-Pfizer, Dr. Lisa Chapman-President Central Carolina Community College, Julius Alverez-Military Intern, John Nichols-Military Intern, Cathy Swindell-Director Workforce Develop CCCC, Mike Kidd-Lead Program Instructor
BioWork Blitz Workshops
The BioWork Blitz workshops were designed to support our goal to build greater awareness and pathways to rewarding careers in the life sciences.
Attendees learn about:
- PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
- Gowning procedures
- SOP (standard operating procedure) writing
- Upstream and downstream biopharma manufacturing
- Biopharma industry growth and careers.
To date, we have proudly welcomed forty participants and have delivered several interactive learning sections. Please check back for more BioWork Blitz opportunities.
NC Pharmaceutical Services Network
The North Carolina Pharmaceutical Services Network (PSN) is a one-of-a-kind partnership between industry and academia that provides a continuum of pharmaceutical education and training to new and existing companies in North Carolina and beyond.
PSN at Pitt Community College provides provides a pilot plant type manufacturing environment and lab scale equipment to teach oral solid dosage theory and manufacturing technique.
PSN at East Carolina University is a laboratory-based education and training network. Offerings include GMP/GLP courses, short courses, and analytical services.
Community College Training Programs
Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) offers multiple short-term certification curriculums in Chatham, Harnett and Lee counties, as well as some online formats.
The Johnston Community College (JCC) biotechnology department offers training that prepares individuals for high tech, well-paying jobs in the biotechnology sector. There are a variety of courses available and an associate's degree curriculum program to meet the growing needs of the industry.
The Pitt Community College biotechnology curriculum has been developed to meet the increasing demand for skilled workers in the biological and chemical technology fields. The course work emphasizes training for positions such as research assistants, laboratory technicians and quality control technicians.
Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC) offers educational programs tailored for current military and veterans. FTCC has a convenient location at the Bragg Training and Education Center (BTEC), ideal for the soldiers and families stationed at Fort Bragg and Pope Airfield, and designed its programs in flexible formats to fit busy schedules.
Military Internships Available
NCBiotech, world-class biopharma manufacturing/life sciences organizations, and Fort Bragg’s Soldier For Life-Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP/CSP team) have come together to support military individual internships. These internships offer real time on-the-job experience and a direct pathway to potential civilian job placement.
Each military internship is up to 16-weeks in length and provides the unique opportunity to receive on-the-job training in biopharma manufacturing. Some internships include the completion of NC BioNetwork's industry-recognized BioWork certification program.
If you are within five to six months of your military exit date, have a good military performance record, and believe you may possess the skills we are seeking, we encourage you to learn more and apply with your local US Army SFL-TAP/CSP team. You may also apply directly on the NCBiotech Jobs Board or email your resume and joint services document (as applicable) to email@example.com
We value the military skill assets you have developed during your Military service.
Explore available Military internship opportunities and apply today by visiting the listings on the NCBiotech Jobs Board.
Below are just a few of the industry partners working with the North Carolina university and community college systems to develop robust training programs throughout the state. Click their logo to browse open positions and find out more about their opportunities for veterans.
Employer resources coming soon!
Veterans in Biopharma
For more information or questions about the Veterans Outreach Program, contact:
Workforce Development Director
Life Sciences Economic Development
Header photo by Department of Defense/Staff Sgt. Curtis J. Lenz
North Carolina State University Biotechnology Training and Education Center