Durham Tech, Novo Nordisk celebrate apprenticeship signings

Leading global healthcare company Novo Nordisk held an apprenticeship signing for two Durham Tech students who are joining the company for a year.  

The apprenticeship program is part of the partnership the College, Novo Nordisk and ApprenticeshipNC  launched in January 2023 to support and grow the talent pipeline in life sciences fields.  

“Thanks to this fantastic public-private partnership with Durham Tech, we’ve innovated an effective way to close the skills gap in the life sciences industry,” said Dale Pulczinski, vice president of Novo Nordisk’s facility in Durham, where essential oral treatments are tableted and packaged for patients with type-2 diabetes. “By offering on-the-job training at Novo Nordisk, we’re creating a diverse talent pipeline that helps put local residents in good-paying careers.”

In February, leaders from Novo Nordisk and Durham Tech gathered to mark the apprenticeship signings of Paul Weinhold and Cooper McKinnon.

McKinnon is doing his apprenticeship in industrial maintenance, focusing on facility operations such as HVAC and building maintenance.  

“This has given me access to a job that I wouldn’t be able to have,” McKinnon said. “You can’t just walk into an industrial maintenance position. You need years of experience, so without this program through Durham Tech and Novo Nordisk, I wouldn’t be able to have this job.”  

Weinhold also is doing his apprenticeship in industrial maintenance, with a focus on the packaging line where he will work on maintaining and improving the reliability of automated equipment.  

One of the courses he cited taking at Durham Tech that helped put him on the path to the Novo Nordisk internship was Process Control Instrumentation. He also has taken courses that will help him with working with electrical motor controls for automation at Novo Nordisk.

Weinhold said the opportunity with Novo Nordisk is helping him make a late-career shift.  

“I don’t think it would have been possible without this apprenticeship opportunity,” he said. “I’m very grateful for it.”

Leaders with both the College and Novo Nordisk spoke about how they are developing opportunities.

“This is a testament to Durham Tech’s, Novo Nordisk’s and ApprenticeshipNC’s spirit of collaboration,” said Micara Lewis-Sessoms, director of worked-based education at Durham Tech.