NBC2: Building Regional and National Networks for a 21st Century Workforce for the Bioeconomy

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Project Updates: 

Project Description:

The number of biomanufacturing companies in the United States is upwards of 350 and growing. The demand for advanced technology technicians educated in the skills, knowledge and attributes of biomanufacturing remains high and is currently not being met by 4-year college graduates entering the job market. "The Report and Survey of Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Capacity and Production" recognized the importance of community college biomanufacturing programs in educating this workforce, and this Center will continue to create local infrastructures and a national network to support the development of a skilled national workforce for the biomanufacturing industry.

The Center will use best practices as they relate to professional development, curriculum development, career coaching, partnerships and networks, dissemination and sustainability. Center goals and objectives include the following. 1) New curriculum will be developed for the most recent advances and trends in biomanufacturing, including single use technology, upstream and downstream processing of monoclonal antibody therapeutics, process development and quality by design, biofuels from microalgae and the production of stem cells in a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) environment. These curriculum modules will be introduced to faculty in nine 3-day workshops and as a mini laboratory manual. 2) Partnerships within local networks of educators and employers will be strengthened and expanded to emphasize the pathway for students from high school through college to the work place. There will be a strong focus on high school students with the development of a series of summer workshops allowing students to gain awareness of the field and progress through hands-on activities in different areas of biomanufacturing. 3) Professional development will include topic specific mini conferences for community college faculty, the continuation of "Protein is Cash" workshops, and a conference for secondary teachers dedicated to implementing biomanufacturing and biotechnology in the classroom following state and national education standards. Community college students will have real world experience with internships and coaching to find employment in the field.

Project PI: 
Margaret Bryans PhD
Other Collaborators: 
  • Linda Rehfuss PhD (Co-Principal Investigator, Bucks County Community College)
  • James Hewlett (Co-Principal Investigator, Fingerlakes Community College)
  • Sengyong Lee PhD (Co-Principal Investigator, Ivy Tech Community College)
Grant number: DUE 1501631
Project Contact Info: 
Montgomery County Community College Blue Bell PA