Build Back Better Award Fuels North Carolina’s Life Sciences Manufacturing Talent Pipeline

Funding for the Accelerate NC Life Sciences Manufacturing 

In September 2022, NCBiotech and our coalition of partners received a $25 million Phase 2 award from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge*. This award is strengthening North Carolina’s robust life sciences manufacturing workforce, ensuring that this sector continues to thrive.

Funding for the Accelerate NC-Life Sciences Manufacturing coalition will increase awareness of, access to, and availability of life sciences manufacturing training across 79 of 100 North Carolina counties. 

Three funded projects are underway to attract and train a more diverse workforce to manufacture vaccines, antibodies and other medicines while enabling greater equity for underserved populations of North Carolinians, including those from distressed and rural communities. 

79 Counties Positively Impacted by Accelerate NC

The Community Engagement project, led by NCBiotech, was designed to increase awareness of and access to training and career opportunities in life sciences manufacturing across the state. The program focuses on reaching residents from historically underserved populations who face academic, financial and other barriers to working in life sciences manufacturing. 

The following four programs make up the Community Engagement project: 

Life Sciences Manufacturing Ambassador Program

The Life Sciences Manufacturing Ambassador Program, launched in early 2023, brings North Carolinians together across 79 counties to increase awareness of opportunities in the sector. 

The Ambassador Program provides opportunities to:

  • Connect with community members
  • Learn about training opportunities, job openings and life sciences events

Join the Accelerate NC Platform.

For more information, contact Andrew George.

Accelerate NC - Life Sciences Manufacturing Ambassador Training

NC Life Sciences Apprenticeship Consortium

The North Carolina Life Sciences Apprenticeship Consortium brings together industry members and community college partners to increase access to life sciences manufacturing training and apprenticeships. The program is paying for 220 North Carolinians to take the BioWork certificate program at a local community college. Those who complete BioWork will qualify for apprenticeships and other career opportunities at leading life sciences manufacturing companies to gain on-the-job training. 

To learn more, click here.

For more information, contact Dasiane Branch.

Two men at job fair

Manufacturing Prep Program - NCGrads2Work 

The Manufacturing Prep - NCGrads2Work program is enabling 96 high school seniors in Pitt County North Carolina to complete a free, two-day, industry-developed pharmaceutical manufacturing training program. Students are also eligible for free tutoring to help them pass the prerequisite National Career Readiness Certificate as needed. 

Students who complete the two-day training at the North Carolina Pharmaceutical Services Network at Pitt Community College are awarded the Pharma Expedited Training Solutions certification and are guaranteed an interview with major life sciences manufacturing employers, such as Catalent and Thermo Fisher Scientific.

For more information, contact Monica Lassiter.

NCBiotech's Mark Phillips teaching students about pharma manufacturing jobs

BULLS Life Sciences Academy

Made in Durham’s BULLS initiative is expanding awareness of and access to life sciences manufacturing opportunities for Durham County residents from underserved populations. Participants receive up to a $10,000 life stipend and wraparound support services to enable participation in the BioWork training certificate program at Durham Technical Community College, and employment opportunities at leading life sciences manufacturing companies in the Triangle region.

For more information, contact Rotcelis Jones

Made in Durham BULLS students in lab

A coalition of 10 community colleges, led by the North Carolina Community College System, is expanding entry-level life sciences manufacturing training, including the BioWork certificate program. Expanded outreach to underserved communities will attract more diverse students to these programs. The BioWork certificate program is a 136-hour course that teaches foundational skills to begin a career as a process technician in life sciences manufacturing.

The HBCU/HAIU coalition, led by North Carolina Central University’s Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise (BRITE), has launched its first bioprocessing training at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. This hands-on, short course helps students prepare for entry-level positions in life sciences manufacturing.

This inaugural training is the first in a series of bioprocessing training programs to be rolled out across six training hubs at North Carolina’s Historically Black Colleges. The training will help to further diversify North Carolina's workforce.

Accelerate NC funding helped purchase equipment needed to teach upstream and downstream bioprocessing and with “train the trainer” events for faculty.

To learn more about the first training, click here

* The Build Back Better Regional Challenge is a competitive federal grant program developed by the Economic Development Administration, an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. It aims to build strong regional economies and support community-led economic development nationwide. The program strives to share the benefits of the cluster equitably across all affected communities, both urban and rural, including efforts to reach historically excluded populations, racial minorities, and women. Build Back Better Regional Challenge projects seeks to create good-paying jobs, catalyze emerging industries, and prepare a workforce needed to drive economic growth.

The BBBRC logo is a trademark of the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

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