IMPORTANT WORK: Aside from enjoying the perks that come with working for the company, employees at Amgen also take pride in their work to ease suffering. Pictured from left are: Senior Manager for Quality Control Adam Konow, specialist Danielle Paul, and Quality Control Managers Leo Espondle and Monika Soban.
Michael Salerno Photography
By Mary Lhowe
How’s this for a job perk: knowing your work helps people suffering from painful, debilitating, chronic illnesses to get out of bed, move without agony and even enjoy life.
Every one of the 900 employees at Amgen Inc. in West Greenwich can enjoy that image if they choose to.
With headquarters in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and 20,000 employees worldwide, Amgen is the world’s largest biotechnology company by revenue. The West Greenwich facility produces Enbrel, a drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. Another Amgen drug, Vecticix, treats colorectal cancer. And, in a pulse-driving development, clinical trials are underway at the West Greenwich facility for a wholly new drug to lower cholesterol.
Beyond the satisfaction of easing suffering, Amgen employees also enjoy a host of benefits: pay and bonuses based on merit; quality insurance plans; continuing education programs; health and fitness and nutrition programs, with rewards for progress; two weeklong shutdowns a year in addition to vacation days; companywide and personal charity and volunteering incentives; parties and help with specific needs, including adoption or treatment.
“Amgen is a place where all people can find their niche,” said Patrice Dudley-Aviles, director of human resources. “It is professionally rewarding, the work is cutting edge, and [employees] have a variety of activities, networking and partnerships.”
Dudley-Aviles said she did not have figures about the company’s retention rate, but added that “many employees” have been on staff continuously since Amgen opened in West Greenwich nearly 11 years ago.
Amgen employees are constantly aware of the company’s formal values, which include “compete intensely and win.” The topic of competition arises over trials of the cholesterol-fighting drug AMG 145, which Amgen hopes will replace statins, the big tool used against heart disease since the 1990s.