State Programs Take Aim at Training

A number of states are funding enhanced biopharmaceutical manufacturing workforce training. Programs designed for displaced workers and students are taking shape.

By Agnes Shanley, Editor in Chief

A number of states are funding enhanced biopharmaceutical manufacturing workforce training. Programs designed for displaced workers and students are taking shape.

In Kansas City, Kansas, for example, the first certification class in biomanufacturing took place in July.  Free instruction is offered via $2,000 scholarships funded by KC One Wired, a federally funded workforce development program. The Kansas City Workfoce office also received $1,000 for screening, exam administration and followup work for each student. To complete the program, students must finish 150 hours of course work with a grade of 95% or above. Those who complete training will be assigned to internships with five pharmaceutical companies, which may hire them.

In New Jersey, Rutgers launched three “Mini-MBA”programs, designed to retrain displaced workers. Biopharma innovation is one of the programs, which also include business essentials and finance essentials.

For more information, visit http://www.business.rutgers.edu/newsDetail.aspx?id=256

Rutgers also received nearly $700,000 in federal funding for the graduate assistance in areas of national need. This program will help 19 students continue  their graduate education in areas that include pharmaceutical  engineering, computational biology, and  molecular biophysics.

In the trenches, the 468 life sciences professionals who took part in BioPlan’s Sixth Annual Report on   Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing cited biopharmaceutical production as a key area for future employment, and biopharmaceutical cGMP training as a skill set  of “high” or “very high” need.

The top workforce challenges cited in this year’s report (based on percentage of respondents) were:

• Biopharma cGMP (69.4%)
• Process validation (61.8%)
• Downstream processing (60.5%)
• FDA regulatory compliance (60.3%)

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