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Merck Operational Readiness Lead in Elkton, Virginia

Job Description

Our Manufacturing Operations teams are the people that make our products. We work in the manufacturing plants with a “Safety First, Quality Always” mindset striving for continuous improvement. We work in the local plant connected to our global manufacturing network to ensure the highest quality of raw materials, intermediates and finished products.

At our Company facility in Elkton, Virginia, we currently have a Manufacturing Operations Specialist position available. Our Company is located in the Shenandoah Valley along the Shenandoah River and the Blue Ridge Mountains just a short distance from major state universities: University of Virginia and James Madison University. This position supports expansion of manufacturing operations in our vaccine fermentation and purification production areas. The successful candidate will be a key member of a cross functional project team tasked with rapidly increasing manufacturing capacity through capital and smaller-scale improvement projects. The position will transition to supporting operations through production ramp up and into steady state manufacturing.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Provide operational design criteria and input to cross-functional project suite teams.

  • Establish strategy and manage execution of operational procedure development.

  • Contribute to staffing modeling and realization, including training of hourly union and shop floor management staff.

  • Development of standard work to support production requirements.

  • Support off-site factory acceptance testing, including higher frequency and duration of travel during a defined period.

  • Plan, organize, prioritize, and direct day-to-day operations, including coordination between multiple disciplines on the shop floor, write permits, lead start-up meetings.

  • Identify, evaluate, plan, and execute continuous improvement projects to increase the team’s effectiveness in meeting business goals including safety, quality, productivity, and reliability objectives.

  • Lead and participate in safety, environmental, and quality audits and investigations and implementation of related corrective actions.

  • Coach and mentor operators and managers.

  • Occasional off-hours support while shift leads are established.

Education Minimum Requirement:

  • Bachelor’s degree

Required Experience and Skills:

  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple tasks and priorities simultaneously

  • Demonstrated ability to develop and direct standard work and lean manufacturing concepts

  • Demonstrated technical proficiency in pharmaceutical or chemical industry

Preferred Experience and Skills:

  • 5 years experience in vaccines/biologics manufacturing environment

  • BS in engineering or similar technical field

  • Management experience in a manufacturing environment

  • Management experience in a union environment

Our Manufacturing & Supply Division is committed to be the most trusted supplier of bio-pharmaceuticals worldwide. Our facilities, along with our external contractors, suppliers, and partners, create an interdependent global manufacturing network that’s committed to delivering a high quality, reliable supply to customers and patients on time, every time.

Who we are …

Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA is known as “Merck” in the United States, Canada & Puerto Rico. We are known as “MSD” in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America & Asia Pacific. We are a global biopharmaceutical leader with a diverse portfolio of prescription medicines, oncology, vaccines and animal health products.

We are driven by our purpose to develop and deliver innovative products that save and improve lives. With 69,000 employees operating in more than 140 countries, we offer state of the art laboratories, plants and offices that are designed to Inspire our employees as we learn, develop and grow in our careers. We are proud of our 125 years of service to humanity and continue to be one of the world’s biggest investors in Research & Development.

What we look for …

In a world of rapid innovation, we seek brave Inventors who want to make an Impact in all aspects of our business, enabling breakthroughs that will affect generations to come. We encourage you to bring your disruptive thinking, collaborative spirit and diverse perspective to our organization. Together we will continue Inventing For Life, Impacting Lives while Inspiring Your Career Growth .





In accordance with Managers' Policy - Job Posting and Employee Placement, all employees subject to this policy are required to have a minimum of twelve (12) months of service in current position prior to applying for open positions.

If you have been offered a separation benefits package, but have not yet reached your separation date and are offered a position within the salary and geographical parameters as set forth in the Summary Plan Description (SPD) of your separation package, then you are no longer eligible for your separation benefits package. To discuss in more detail, please contact your HRBP or Talent Acquisition Advisor.



If you need an accommodation for the application process please email us at

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We are an equal opportunity employer, Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran – proudly embracing diversity in all of its manifestations.

Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully

Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, also known as Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, does not accept unsolicited assistance from search firms for employment opportunities. All CVs / resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at our company without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of our company. No fee will be paid in the event a candidate is hired by our company as a result of an agency referral where no pre-existing agreement is in place. Where agency agreements are in place, introductions are position specific. Please, no phone calls or emails.

Employee Status:




VISA Sponsorship:


Travel Requirements:


Flexible Work Arrangements:


Valid Driving License:

Hazardous Material(s):

Number of Openings:


Requisition ID: R10795