Learn About Biotech Workforce Education

Biotechnology programs at two-year colleges are responsible for educating many of the technicians who work in the biotechnology and life science industries. In the US, over 750 biotech-related employers, in 1400 locations, have hired students from community college biotech programs.

Many InnovATEBIO college programs have industry advisory boards that help programs learn about and work with their local companies.

On a national level, since a large part of InnovATEBIO's mission is to help colleges prepare technicians for the workforce, InnovATEBIO has its own industry advisory board, called the National Industry and Workforce Advisory Council or more simply, the NAC.

InnovATEBIO also works with state biotech trade associations to advocate on behalf of the biotech programs, faculty, and students, and make sure that companies know that InnovATEBIO programs prepare students for professional careers with opportunities for advancement. 

The two primary channels that InnovATEBIO uses to "listen" to industry are:

If you work in the biotech industry and would like to get more involved in workforce education, please contact us.

94 InnovATEBIO members have industry advisory boards

Economic and Workforce Development

Economic and Workforce Development (EWD) is the process of steering economic stimuli in ways that yield thriving businesses and create job training and career opportunities for the community. At many community colleges, professional and technical education departments support local economic development by offering educational programs that help people attain new skills. Some community colleges also contribute to local economic development by renting space to small companies or allowing industry scientists use of their equipment. Other colleges have formalized these activities by creating incubators to house small companies or Contract Service Organizations (CSO's) to provide laboratory services such as media preparation or DNA sequencing.

National Industry and Workforce Advisory Council

The InnovATEBIO National industry and Workforce Advisory Council (NAC) is a committee of approximately 25 executives and other representatives from the bioscience industry, workforce, and academic institutions. The NAC is appointed. Its members meet with the InnovATEBIO leadership team once or twice a year. The purpose of the NAC is to connect the InnovATEBIO center to the biotech industry and workforce partners. To do so, we use a process called a BILT( Business Industry Leadership Team ) model. Using this model, our NAC leads the meetings, works on issues, and provides guidance and feedback on our programs.   

The InnovATEBIO NAC provides a mechanism for industry representatives to share their insights and concerns with the larger biotech education community. Working with industry representatives through the NAC helps us learn about industry trends and make sure that biotechnology skill standards remain current. We are committed to sharing what we learn from our industry partners with the InnovATEBIO college programs to ensure that programs know which skills are in demand and where the industry is headed.

If you lead one of the InnovATEBIO college programs and wish to "listen in" on a NAC meeting, please contact us

Biotechnology Trade Associations

Trade associations 

BIO Trade organizations in the life sciences community work to fulfill an extraordinary promise as a source of economic opportunity and improved quality of life through effective advocacy and policy.

State BIO Trade associations are dedicated to promoting the growth and development of the bioscience industry for their state.  State trade associations work on state and federal public policies that encourage the growth of life science companies, support the development of a strong life science workforce, promote research and technology transfer at universities and other institutions including support for capitalization and commercialization of products. 

These organizations also provide members(e.g. industry, academia and workforce agencies) opportunities to network, collaborate, and save money through purchasing discounts.   A state trade association’s ultimate goal is to help its state’s bioscience community fulfill its promise of economic opportunity and improved quality of life for its citizens and ultimately people around the world.

Why is it important to connect with industry?

Many community college bioscience programs develop their programs and curriculum with the goal of building the skilled technical workforce.  It can be helpful for community college workforce education programs to reach out to their state trade associations for assistance in building, planning, or expanding a bioscience program. Trade association representatives are skilled when it comes to connecting people. By working with trade associations, college program directors can get help connecting with employers, especially larger employers. The best way to have a successful program is by engaging employer feedback on the design and implementation of a program. Many programs also have industry advisory committees that solicit employer feedback on curriculum development and modification.   

Learn More

42 states have trade associations and other non-profit biotechnology organizations listed in this site.

View biotechnology trade associations and other groups by state.