Durham Tech and KBI BioPharma Partner to Boost Diversity and Create Life Sciences Job Opportunities for North Carolina Students and Veterans


KBI Biopharma to Offer Manufacturing Apprenticeships as Part of the North Carolina Community College System Apprenticeship NC Program

DURHAM, North Carolina, May 4, 2021 – KBI Biopharma (KBI), a JSR Life Sciences company, and Durham Technical Community College announced a new partnership to offer apprenticeships to graduating high school seniors and military veterans. The apprenticeship program aims to bolster a diverse talent pipeline in the biotechnology field and increase access to underutilized labor pools. The initiative, which begins this summer, is a part of the North Carolina Community College System ApprenticeshipNC program and will begin in the summer of 2021.  

At a news conference, Durham Tech President J.B. Buxton joined North Carolina Community College System President Thomas Stith III and KBI BioPharma President and CEO Dirk Lange to announce the joint initiative. The apprenticeship program aims to close the skill gap in the life sciences industry by offering on-the-job training at KBI Biopharma and related instruction at Durham Tech. “

Durham Tech is committed to creating a diverse talent pipeline that puts local residents in good paying careers in the life sciences sector. We’re proud to partner with KBI BioPharma in this effort and believe this is a model for public-private partnerships,” President J.B. Buxton said. KBI Biopharma is a biopharmaceutical contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) that provides accelerated drug development and biomanufacturing services to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies globally advance their vaccine and therapeutic programs. 

Through the program, KBI will initially offer four apprenticeships at KBI’s Durham, NC facilities. The apprenticeship will last approximately three years, and KBI will offer on-the-job training in manufacturing, with short-term training assignments in other areas, including warehousing operations and logistics, maintenance, and other manufacturing areas. Apprentices who complete this program will earn an Associate of Science degree from Durham Tech and credentials from the US Department of Labor. “

I am excited to work with Durham Tech on this program, which addresses a fundamental challenge for our industry: building a sustainable pipeline for our future workforce, while creating the opportunity to kickstart the career of young talent,” said Mr. Lange. “

At KBI, we see education as a way to enable possibilities and progress through on-the-job learning. We’re proud to partner with Durham Tech, and look forward to the opportunity to grow lifelong careers in this area and develop and retain highly talented team members for KBI Biopharma.”

The State System’s Apprenticeship NC program manages apprenticeship opportunities at local community colleges and looks to connect employers to prospective apprentices.  “

Today’s announcement demonstrates the strength in partnerships that our 58 community colleges have with business and industry around the state,” said President Stith. “Providing registered apprenticeship programs helps business and industry create their own skilled workforce and North Carolina stay competitive in the marketplace.”

During a roundtable discussion with state and local leaders Tuesday, President Buxton laid out the talent needs facing the life sciences industry and Durham Tech’s plan to invest in bolster a diverse talent pipeline for the future.  

Durham Tech is a key member of the BULLS Initiative, a public-private consortium aimed at filling the growing needs for the local biotech industry, and positioning Durham as a leader in life sciences. Community partners focused the discussion on the need for pathways to careers, public-private partnerships, and capital investment.  


About KBI Biopharma, Inc.

KBI Biopharma, a JSR Life Sciences company, is an award-winning biopharmaceutical contract services organization providing fully integrated, accelerated drug development and biomanufacturing services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies globally. With each of our 300+ client partners, we have worked closely to personalize and rapidly accelerate their drug development programs. Built upon a foundation of world-class analytical capabilities, we deliver efficient process development and clinical and commercial cGMP manufacturing services for mammalian, microbial, and cell therapy programs. We have locations in Durham and Research Triangle Park (NC), Boulder and Louisville (CO), The Woodlands (TX), and Leuven, Belgium. More information is available at www.kbibiopharma.com

KBI Inquiries

Mike Beyer

Sam Brown Inc.

+1 312-961-2502


Durham Tech Inquiries

Nathan Hardin



Contact details

Receive exclusive news

Are you a journalist or do you work for a publication?
Sign up and request access to exclusive news.

Request access

Receive JSR Life Sciences news on your RSS reader.

Or subscribe through Atom URL manually