BioWork Training at All Johnston County Public High Schools

Published: October 13, 2023

Johnston Community College, Johnston County Public Schools, Novo Nordisk, and Grifols team up to offer BioWork certification to high school juniors and seniors.

student in biotechnology

Johnston Community College and Johnston County Public Schools, with support from Novo Nordisk and Grifols, are teaming up to offer the BioWork certification curriculum in all of Johnston County’s traditional public high schools.

BioWork is a statewide certification program that teaches the fundamentals of working as a process technician in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, or chemical manufacturing facilities.

Johnston County high school juniors and seniors will be able to complete the free course in one semester, as part of a pre-apprenticeship, through the Career and College Promise program.

“This program will help propel many Johnston County students into success while in school and afterwards as they begin their journey into high-demand biopharmaceutical career pathways that are available in our community,” said Johnston County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy.

“We are extremely thankful for our community partners who have collaborated to provide this innovative opportunity for our students,” Bracy added.

“We are proud to partner with the Johnston County Public School System to provide this unique and valuable workforce training at their schools. Completing this certificate will set students up for success in a biotechnology career,” said JCC President Dr. Vern Lindquist.

Reno Palombit, the director of career and technical education for JCPS, agrees with Drs. Bracy and Lindquist.

“This partnership is another step in our mission that every Johnston County Public Schools graduate has a plan for their future and the skills, knowledge, and aptitudes to make it a reality," Palombit commented.

The BioWork certification will count as one year of work experience in a biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility, if the student is hired after graduating high school. Novo Nordisk and Grifols, Johnston County’s largest biopharmaceutical manufacturing companies, support the new program.

“Programs like BioWork are not only preparing students for the future, but also offering the promise of rewarding careers in the biomanufacturing industry,” according to Shaylah Nunn-Jones, the principal for government and public affairs at Novo Nordisk.

“The skills and knowledge gained through these programs are fundamental to most of the diverse manufacturing roles we hire at Novo Nordisk, as well as the other 700 plus biotech companies in the Triangle Region alone. That’s what makes this so exciting – we’re not just preparing our youth, we’re equipping our future workforce with secure, well-paid jobs," Nunn-Jones added. 

Blaire Narron, the senior manager for performance development at Grifols, said “Grifols is proud to support BioWork in Johnston County Public Schools, a potential game changer for many students and their families.”

“Grifols hopes that BioWork graduates will consider a fulfilling career with us when they begin their job search, Narron added.

Completion of the certificate allows students to enroll at JCC with the equivalent of two curriculum classes toward an associate degree in Biotechnology.

Johnston County high school graduates are also eligible to pursue an associate degree tuition-free at JCC for up to four academic semesters through the JoCo Commissioners Program.

BioWork classes in Johnston County’s traditional public high schools begin this spring.

JCC is hosting a parent information session at the Workforce Development Center in Clayton on Tuesday, October 17, 2023 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

For more information on the program, visit:

Did you enjoy this story?

Share this article with your friends!