BLOOMINGTON – Drugmaker Catalent plans to hire between 500 and 600 more employees for its Bloomington operations through the end of the year as it is seeing rising demand for its products, including COVID-19 vaccines.
The Somerset, New Jersey-based company will have job fairs at the Monroe County Convention Center Oct. 12 and 13.
“We have opportunities across the board,” said Arturo Lopez, senior director of human resources.
Lopez told The Herald-Times Friday that Catalent is hiring for positions ranging from director to supervisor to technicians, though the company is looking primarily for entry-level manufacturing and warehousing positions.
Entry-level jobs will pay hourly wages of $18. Employees will get benefits from the start, including health insurance and a 401(k) plan with a match of up to 4%. Entry-level applicants must have a high school diploma.
Lopez said that the company is increasing its production in part because of the continued high need for the COVID-19 vaccines it packages. Catalent expects demand for those vaccines to continue for some time for both initial shots and boosters. Some medical experts expect COVID-19 to remain within the population for years, though without causing the kind of disruption it has in the past 18 months.
The pandemic also has left many employers scrambling to find workers and has created some “interesting” market dynamics, Lopez said.
Nationwide, employers have about 9 million job openings, and at the same time, about 9 million people are actively looking for work, indicating a mismatch between skills that employers need and what job seekers have the training to do, he said.
In August, nearly 134,000 Hoosiers were looking for jobs, though that was down from nearly 239,000 a year ago, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. The state’s unemployment rate, at 4.1%, was down 3.2 percentage points from August 2020.
In the Bloomington area, nearly 2,800 people were looking for work in August. The unemployment rate was 3.6%.
Despite a “battle for talent,” Lopez said he believed Catalent will meet its hiring goal because of its competitive salary and benefits package. While entry-level workers earn $18 an hour, they can get a pay bump of up to 20% depending on what shifts they work. Hourly and salaried employees also can earn quarterly bonuses of up to 5%. The company’s continued growth also offers opportunities for learning new skills, expanded responsibilities and for promotions, Lopez said.
Much of the work takes place in areas that are “pretty different” from traditional manufacturing floors, Lopez said, as Catalent’s industry is highly regulated. Many employees work with protective gear in areas similar to laboratories or hospitals with negative air pressure and tightly controlled airflow and ventilation.
Lopez said many people also enjoy the work because it is meaningful, as Catalent’s products improve and save lives.
Laine Mello, product manager for biologics, said the company also manufactures products to fight flu, neurological disorders, cardiovascular disease and cancer. According to its annual report, the company also provides “cell therapy and viral-based gene therapy development and manufacturing.”
While production demand is being driven primarily by the pandemic, Catalent officials said that many of the company’s more than 60 customers are seeing growth.
The publicly-traded company recently reported annual revenue of just under $4 billion, up 26% from the prior year, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company said revenue increased primarily because of “robust demand across all our Biologics offerings, in particular demand for our drug product and drug substance offerings for COVID-19-related programs.”
This article was made available through Hoosier State Press Association.