Year after Novo Nordisk’s $6 million gift to Durham Tech, partnership continues to grow

In January 2023, leading global healthcare company Novo Nordisk donated $6 million to Durham Tech, the largest corporate gift in the College’s history. In the year since the landmark gift, the partnership between Novo Nordisk and the College is already delivering results and creating a clear pathway for students interested in entering the biotechnology field.  

“Novo Nordisk and our employees are deeply committed to improving the lives of our patients while serving our communities,” said Dale Pulczinski, Vice-President of Novo Nordisk’s Oral Finished Products site, a tableting and packaging facility in Durham that supports the production of an innovative oral treatment for patients with type-2 diabetes. “The partnership between Novo Nordisk and Durham Tech shows the meaningful impact that can be made when we partner together.”


Novo Nordisk’s gift focused on four key areas to support Durham Tech’s work in the life sciences:  

  • Establish a Biotechnology Associate of Applied Science degree program.
  • Create onsite training for biotechnology career transition programs to upskill or reskill existing employees and other related workforce training partnerships.
  • Ensure students are learning on up-to-date biotechnology equipment.
  • Provide outreach and awareness about the biotechnology field for area middle and high school students.

In addition, Novo Nordisk also will have a full- and part-time employee serve in the professor-in-residence program; now offers apprenticeships, internships and scholarship programs; and will purchase select necessary biotech training equipment for a new Life Sciences Training Center on the College’s Main Campus.

“This investment in Durham Tech is helping us expand and diversify our talent pipeline - introducing students of all ages to promising careers in biomanufacturing they might never have been exposed to otherwise,” said Shaylah Nunn Jones, Director of Novo Nordisk Public Affairs & Communications in North Carolina. “Together, we’ll be providing apprenticeships, internships, scholarship programs and training on the latest biotech equipment that will help lead to secure, well-paying jobs ... not just at Novo Nordisk, but at hundreds of biotech sites across the Triangle.”


The past year, the partnership has launched a number of initiatives:

  • On Feb. 1, the College and Novo Nordisk hosted an apprenticeship signing ceremony for Durham Tech students who are entering apprenticeships with the company.
  • In December, Novo Nordisk sponsored the College’s first Life Sciences Networking event for students and interested community members. Scores of students, alumni and life sciences employers attended.  
  • In September, the College hosted tours for Novo Nordisk’s site leadership and process support teams to familiarize them with the campus, programs, and give them the opportunity to see where a new Life Sciences Training Center will be.
  • Durham Tech President J.B. Buxton and Novo Nordisk’s Nunn Jones were featured speakers at the Durham Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting last spring to share information about the partnership with key community stakeholders.

“We want to ensure our community understands the benefits and impact this partnership will have as students move through our programs and into biotechnology careers,” President J.B. Buxton said.  

Telicia Hunter, Durham Tech Life Sciences director, noted the difference Novo Nordisk is making in students’ lives.

"Durham Tech's partnership with Novo Nordisk is truly a model for what collaboration among community colleges and industry should look like,” she said. “The team at Novo is so supportive with everything we do from sponsoring events, offering program guidance, actively recruiting and referring students into our programs, and hiring them in the roles they committed to filling with our students. Every student I have spoken to is over the moon about joining a company that not only cares about their products but also them as employees and the community."  

Novo Nordisk is working closely with College employees and the head of the Durham Tech Foundation to develop and grow additional opportunities to encourage people to enter the biotechnology field and make it an accessible pathway for those who want to make this their career.

“We are so proud to be a partner with Novo Nordisk, helping our students enter a high-demand field where they can earn a family-sustaining wage,” said Roxanne Miller, Durham Tech vice president and chief institutional advancement officer. “This company is investing a great deal in the College and the community, which will benefit the biotechnology sector, healthcare and education. It is a model for what we can achieve together with our corporate partners, and we are extremely grateful for all that Novo Nordisk does to improve lives.”

About Novo Nordisk

Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2023, Novo Nordisk is a leading global healthcare company, founded in 1923 and headquartered in Denmark. Its purpose is to drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases, such as obesity and rare blood and endocrine disorders. The company does so by pioneering scientific breakthroughs, expanding access to its medicines, and working to prevent and ultimately cure disease. Novo Nordisk employs about 50,800 people in 80 countries and markets its products in around 170 countries. In North Carolina, Novo Nordisk invested close to $4.5 billion, and the Durham and Clayton manufacturing facilities employ nearly 2,500 professionals. For more information, visit Novo Nordisk’s website at