Deep in the desert of Phoenix, Arizona, stands a bustling manufacturing facility that’s about to get a lot busier. Just ask Kevin Bryant, Director of Manufacturing Operations, who’s been working there since 1996, before it was the home of Bristol Myers Squibb.
“The Phoenix site will serve a significant role in sterile product manufacturing,” Kevin said. “This includes a major expansion to the facility slated for completion in 2024. That's sustainable jobs for a lot of people for a long time.”
Kevin knows a thing or two about sustainable jobs. He started his career on the manufacturing floor as an operator, and with the support of BMS leadership, he now oversees the facility’s largest department. “I had really good leaders and mentors right out of the gate, and they taught me to pay it forward,” he said. “At BMS, you earn all of the opportunities you get, but someone steps in, sees your potential, and provides you the opportunity for growth and to shine.”
Currently, Kevin and his team manufacture treatments for pancreatic cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and breast cancer. From the compounding and fill-finish of the product to packaging, inspection, and warehouse management, he and his team have a tangible impact on patients’ lives.
Senior Director of the Manufacturing, Science, and Technology group, Caroline Eichberger, shares this enthusiasm, and takes pride in delivering a quality product.”
“There's a sense of responsibility in getting every batch out the door for our patients, but it makes it kind of fun,” Caroline said. “It anchors you to see the output after facing that day’s challenge and issues.”
Caroline relocated to BMS Phoenix from a similar assignment at a more established BMS facility in Puerto Rico. In Phoenix, she and her team are essentially the subject matter experts when it comes to technical support aspects of the operation, including the equipment that manufactures the product and the science of the products themselves. Having very detailed information about the equipment and product, they perform, quality assurance validation of the equipment and perform activities to ensure the product manufacture is robust. While she and her team are involved with the current product, she finds the forward-looking nature of building out this facility thrilling.
“We’re working with very complex equipment and processes,” Caroline said. “It's a very large, technical project, where we’re not only designing highly complex multimillion-dollar pieces of equipment to make potentially life-saving medications, but also figuring out how to produce those existing products in a new facility.”
While Kevin has lived in Phoenix for several years, Caroline was a transplant who ended up falling in love with “the Valley of the Sun.” She’s not alone—U.S. Census Bureau data shows Phoenix attracted more new residents than any other U.S. city in 2019 and four consecutive years prior.
“I've lived in the Midwest, on the East Coast, and in Puerto Rico but there’s just something special about Phoenix,” she said. “There’s a lot to do outside of work with the varying landscapes, sun, and lovely moderate temperatures.”
Kevin added, “Oftentimes when people are looking at a career change, they’re also thinking about their family. Phoenix’s schools are outstanding, and because the area is growing, there are plenty of work opportunities in any field.”
For the people who join BMS and perform well, work opportunities and job growth are a given.
“We are small enough that people can wear several hats and they're happy to trade hats,” Caroline said. “You may do an activity one day and then it may be handled by someone else another other day. You don't have to come in with all the experience because you can be hands-on and learn real time on the job.”
And while it’s a manufacturing site, there are a variety of roles in the facility that support the process.
“We might be the ones making the drug product, but we don't do that alone. It takes a village,” Kevin said. “Whether it's the QC lab, quality operations, engineering, maintenance, facilities, it’s all here to keep either the facility up and running or to support the manufacturing operation itself. Everybody here contributes, and with the expansion, there will be even more to support.”
If you’d like to be part of the expansion at our Phoenix plant, now’s the time to consider making an exciting move! Explore open roles in Phoenix, Arizona now. This is where transformations happen.
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