The Funding Aims to Strengthen and Grow Career Opportunities in Life Sciences to Historically Underserved Communities
RALEIGH – The N.C. Community College System (NCCCS) was awarded $16.4 million over three years in federal funding to implement the NC BioBetter project as part of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Phase 2 Build Back Better Regional Challenge led by the N.C. Biotechnology Center (NCBiotech). The funding aims to strengthen Norths Carolina's life sciences manufacturing cluster by expanding, connecting and promoting training and career opportunities to underserved and distressed communities, including historically excluded populations.
“BioTech is a critical industry for North Carolina," NCCCS Interim President Dr. Carver said. "Our community colleges provide training and support to ensure this industry has a skilled workforce. The award will enhance the Community College System's ability to support this economic sector. For the citizens of North Carolina, this opportunity will provide training that leads to well paying jobs and even more importantly, fulfilling careers."
As part of the funding project, 10 of the NCCCS Great 58 and its BioNetwork Division will work together to develop and deliver training in the field of life sciences. The organizations will work collectively to bolster the number of trained life sciences manufacturing workers by enrolling citizens from across the state in BioWork and other life sciences training programs. Recruitment will focus on historically excluded, rural and distressed populations. Additionally, this project will expand the faculty delivering BioWork and related training programs by recruiting and training credentialed personnel through an innovative immersion program.
"The award will be transformative in how it will provide the resources to develop and implement strategies to recruit and retain students from excluded populations and create a program to upskill our own workforce by recruiting and training faculty on current biomanufacturing processes," said Associate VP of Business Engagement and National and International Partnerships Matt Meyer.
The 10 community colleges include: Alamance Community College, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, Central Carolina Community College, Durham Tech Community College, Forsyth Technical Community College, Johnston Community College, Pitt Community College, Vance-Granville Community College, Wake Technical Community College, and Wilson Community College.
The NCBiotech-led consortium consists of a coalition of public and private partner organizations that will work collaboratively to carry out the mission to further strengthen North Carolina's life sciences manufacturing cluster. The NCBiotech-led consortium is one of only 21 projects chosen from 60 applicants nationwide.
About the N.C. Biotechnology Center
Funded by the N.C. General Assembly, the center connects companies with university researchers and introduces entrepreneurs to potential funders to create jobs and opportunities in the life sciences filed in North Carolina.
About the North Carolina Community College System
The North Carolina Community College System is a network created to improve the quality of life across North Carolina by opening the door to opportunities that minimize barriers to post-secondary education, maximize student success and develop a globally and multi-culturally competent workforce. The 58 institutions located throughout the state work to provide easy access to low-cost, high-quality educational opportunities and academic support that focuses on increasing employability. For more information, please visit: www.nccommunitycolleges.edu.