Mayne Pharma Launching Scholarship Program at Pitt Community College
Mayne Pharma, a developer and manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, which opened a new $80 million Greenville facility in 2018, is launching the Mayne Scholarship program at Pitt Community College (PCC) this fall.
The program is intended to draw STEM-focused students into pharmaceutical careers to help address a shortage of qualified workers in the industry.
“Really the heart of this program is about creating a pipeline of opportunity for young people to enter the pharmaceutical industry,” Andrew Herdman, Mayne Pharma vice president of group human resources, told partners from Pitt Community College, Pitt County Schools and the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce at a launch event March 26.
The program is seeking high school seniors or PCC students with an aptitude for science to be trained as lab analysts for Mayne Pharma. Scheduled to begin with a class of eight, the program will provide two-year scholarships, valued at $8,000, for students to pursue an associate's degree in biotechnology at PCC.
Students will have a chance to compete for paid internships at Mayne Pharma, committing to work for the company a minimum of two years following graduation. After completing the two years, Herdman said, scholarship recipients may be eligible for additional support from Mayne Pharma toward the completion of a bachelor's degree.
“This is yet another example of Mayne Pharma’s outstanding corporate citizenship in North Carolina,” said Mark Phillips, NCBiotech vice president of statewide operations and executive director of the Eastern Region Office in Greenville. “It adds to the significant accomplishments that Mayne and other partners have brought to this region, and to the state. This is what creates transformation and keeps us at the front of the pack in workforce training for these high-paying pharmaceutical and biomanufacturing jobs.”
Herdman however, said Mayne Pharma “is not being completely altruistic in this” because it has a real need for talent.” It employs about 500 people, including 200 analytical chemists, and finding qualified applicants for its positions is a challenge.
Talent is a key need for us,” Herdman said. “We can't grow here like we want to grow unless we are able to find the talent.”
The 30-year-old company is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and focused on applying its drug-delivery expertise to commercialize branded and generic pharmaceuticals. Mayne Pharma also provides contract development and manufacturing services to more than 100 clients worldwide. It has product development and manufacturing facilities based in Salisbury, Greenville, and Australia, with expertise in formulating complex oral dose forms including highly potent compounds, modified-release products and inherently unstable compounds.
PCC biotechnology instructor Ben Trimpi, a former analytical chemist at Mayne Pharma, collaborated with the company to develop two courses designed to train students on equipment, software and procedures used in the industry. “The collaboration has a whole lot to do with why it's so successful,” Trimpi told the Greenville Daily Reflector. “They do exactly what they do on the job.”
PCC’s biotech program has been successful in lining up jobs for its graduates, according to the Reflector. Of PCC biotechnology students set to graduate in May, three of the four who focused on pharmaceuticals have jobs waiting for them. A student who graduated in December started a job three days later.
Mayne Pharma Scholars applications will be available next month at pittcc.edu.