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The hunt for work after red October: Novo cites military experience as a big plus

By Gareth MacDonald+


Novo Nordisk values 'mission critical' mindset of ex military employees
Novo Nordisk values 'mission critical' mindset of ex military employees

Novo Nordisk says nuclear submarine veterans’ “mission critical” mentality is suited to pharmaceutical manufacturing environment.

Last week when drugmaker Novo Nordisk announced plans to build an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing plant in the US – which will be its first outside its native Denmark – it chose a site in Clayton, North Carolina.

Novo said the new plant – due to be operation in 2020 – would be built next to an existing facility where it formulates, fills and packages its diabetes care products. The site also produces the firm’s Felxpen and FlexTouch prefilled insulin devices for the US market.

In the coverage that surrounded the announcement, the Danish drugmaker revealed that a large proportion of staff employed at the facility had military backgrounds and wondered why.

Dale Pulczinski, ‎director of aseptic production at the Clayton site, told us veterans have the “mentality and Concept of “mission critical” in relation to technical environments…which provides focus and drive to complete task and troubleshooting.”

They are also “highly trained and effective in maintenance practices and knowledge” and provide “many different levels of Leadership in technical environments” according to Pulczinski, himself a veteran of the US Navy.

Regulatory environment

He added that a familiarity with strict military rules is also ideal preparation for working in a regulated industry like the pharmaceutical sector, citing veterans with aviation experience and those who have served on nuclear submarines as particularly well suited.

The comments follow just days after Texas A&M University launched its bioprocessing training scheme for ex US military veterans, who it also says are suited to the complex field of pharmaceutical development and manufacturing.

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