Hiring isn’t in full gear yet at Research Campus
By Emily Ford
KANNAPOLIS ó As the N.C. Research Campus prepares to open this summer, more people hope to land a job at the biotech complex.
“We get people almost every day who come in, asking when we might have jobs open,” said Kelly Elliott, administrative manager for the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s nutrition center in Kannapolis.
The inquiries come mostly from Kannapolis residents who are tired of driving to Charlotte and elsewhere to work, Elliott said.
“They are excited about the possibility of not having to commute,” she said.
Currently, only a handful of jobs are available, and most require a doctorate.
But Lynne Scott Safrit, president of campus developer Castle & Cooke North Carolina, has declared 2008 “the year of people.”
“There will be a windfall of opportunities,” said Tara Voglien, director for business and research administration for N.C. State University’s new institute in Kannapolis. “But we can’t expand until we get into our buildings.”
The buildings, two massive brick structures near the copper-topped Core Laboratory Building, should open this summer or fall.
Until then, six University of North Carolina System schools and Duke University have have temporary offices in Cannon Village.
With limited space and staff, none of the universities will accept applications or resumes in person. Applicants must apply online.
Each university will use its own human resources department to fill jobs in Kannapolis.Trickle-down theory
Employment will have somewhat of a trickle-down effect at the Research Campus, a $1.5 billion public-private partnership created by real estate magnate David H. Murdock.
A few universities have yet to name directors for their endeavors in Kannapolis. As these top administrators arrive at the Research Campus this fall, the pace of hiring should quicken.
The directors will hire faculty, who in turn will hire research assistants, lab managers, clinical research associates and more.
Most universities also will need support staff like bookkeepers, facility managers and administrative assistants in their new buildings.
N.C. State, Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC-Charlotte have permanent directors in Kannapolis.
UNC-Greensboro, N.C. A&T and N.C. Central are still searching.
Appalachian State University is expected to join the Research Campus this fall, and Murdock has said he expects to partner with at least two more universities.
Check the Web
Within 10 years, the campus is expected to directly employ 5,000 people.
Job seekers can keep their eye on various Web sites for employment news (see list).
A good place to start is the Web site for the campus, www.ncresearchcampus. net.
Clicking “career opportunities” only generates this message, “Please come back at a later date for career opportunities.” But it does link users to Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, which will train much of the biotech workforce for the campus.
There are also helpful drop-down tabs that list many of the universities and companies that have committed to joining the campus, with links to their Web sites.
As with the brick buildings, the Research Campus Web site is a work in progress. In addition to linking to more universities and companies, officials plan to include a page that lists ancillary companies, like law firms and movers.
The campus is expected to generate more than 30,000 ancillary jobs over the next decade.
More growth to come
The campus is also accepting resumes at a general e-mail address.
Scientists, researchers and biotech professionals with advanced degrees can e-mail a resume to email@example.com.
This goes to the human resources department at Castle & Cooke, the campus developer.
Although Castle & Cooke is not hiring for the campus, human resources director Freda Reichmeider will look at each resume and forward it to the university or company she thinks might be interested, like Duke or LabCorp.
“We’re acting as a liaison for them,” Reichmeider said.
Castle & Cooke North Carolina has grown substantially to 40 employees since Murdock, a California billionaire who owns Castle & Cooke as well as Dole Food Co., announced the Research Campus in 2005.
The company expects more growth as construction begins on some 800 luxury homes and condominiums on and near the campus.
Murdock once owned the textile mill in Kannapolis that closed in 2003. He bought back the vacant mill and demolished it, building the campus in its place.
He recently created a nonprofit charity that will own and operate the highly anticipated Core Laboratory Building, the centerpiece of the campus and a major draw for university and company partners.
This charity, the David H. Murdock Research Institute, also has a Web site. While no jobs are posted yet, the site invites people “interested in joining the DHMRI team” to e-mail a resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Emily Ford at email@example.com.