Bucks Partners with 11 Other Colleges to Develop Biotech Training
As part of a $15 million federal grant, Bucks will develop a capstone course in biomanufacturing to meet industry demand.
Bucks County Community College is partnering with 11 other colleges nationwide to develop and expand workforce training across the $100 billion biosciences industry.
The project is funded by a three-year, $15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) program. The grant establishes the Community College Consortium for Biosciences Credentials, a national partnership consisting of:
- 12 community colleges from across the nation, led by Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, N.C.
- National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education’s BIO-LINK center
- National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education’s North East Biomanufacturing Consortium
- NC BioNetwork Center
- Major industry employers
- Workforce boards and organizations from around the country
According to Dr. Linda Rehfuss (pictured, right, with with U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor Seth Harris), Assistant Professor of Biotechnology and Biology at Bucks, the project is divided into three areas: biomanufacturing, medical device manufacturing, and research and development.
The biomanufacturing hub is made up of Bucks County Community College, Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, Pa., and Los Angeles Valley College in Los Angeles, Ca.
Biomanufacturing is a subfield of biotechnology, which is the process for making biologic medicines, or the medicines administered through injection. “These medicines treat cancer, autoimmune diseases and a whole host of problems,” Rehfuss explained.
“Of the $15 million award, Bucks will receive $380,584 to support capacity building and a capstone course in biomanufacturing,” said Rehfuss. “In our award there is approximately $125,000 for new biotechnology and biomanufacturing equipment.”
The three biomanufacturing colleges will work together to develop the curriculum for the capstone course in biomanufacturing, which will be available to Bucks students, and will especially target displaced workers in Bucks County, Rehfuss explained. “It will give graduates the skills needed to work in manufacturing the biologic medicines,” she said.