July 13, 2011 ( Cambridge, MA) — The Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation (MassBioEd) recently received a $150,000 grant to encourage better communication among life sciences companies and the area’s educational institutions to create more intensive training programs and more valuable learning opportunities for students interested in biotechnology.
This two-year grant from The Boston Foundation will go to fund the work of the Massachusetts Life Science Education Consortium (MLSEC), which is made up of representatives from the biotech industry and higher education.
The MLSEC was created in 2009 to further develop the future Massachusetts life sciences workforce by creating strong partnerships between the life sciences industry and higher education. The Consortium aims to meet the long-term hiring needs of the biotech industry with ongoing and improved communication and partnership with Massachusetts colleges and universities.
Last fall, the Consortium officially endorsed 11 biotechnology degree or certificate programs at eight local community colleges that are helping to prepare future life science employees to meet the needs of an ever-changing and growing industry. The endorsement program helps strengthen the link between community colleges and the current life sciences workforce, ensuring that graduates of participating schools have the skills and hands-on experience needed to successfully hold positions in the biotech field.
President and CEO of the Boston Foundation, Paul Grogan, wrote in the grant announcement, “Organizations that receive competitive investments from the Boston Foundation are well-led, high-performing organizations and, in our estimation, Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation is such an organization.”
The grant will further support all the schools involved in the MLSEC, and will provide the opportunity for more institutions to join and benefit from the Consortium. It will also allow MassBioEd to continue working with the MLSEC to further develop community college capacity to produce employment-ready graduates through faculty peer support, professional development and by supporting dynamic relationships with industry leaders.
“Obtaining the financial support and endorsement from the Boston Foundation will be instrumental in creating of a workforce development system aligned with the life science sector’s employment needs,” said Lance Hartford, Executive Director of MassBioEd.
The Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation (MassBioEd), founded in 2001, is a nonprofit charitable organization committed to supporting science and biotechnology education in Massachusetts through school programs, workforce training, and lifelong learning. Serving as a link between education, industry, and government, MassBioEd is working to ensure Massachusetts’ biotechnology sector has an appropriately trained workforce to meet the growing employment needs. MassBioEd’s BioTeach program provides professional development to over 500 teachers in their biotechnology curricula and provides grants and lab equipment to 179 schools across the Commonwealth. In addition, MassBioEd’s BioTech Learning Center offers professional development courses for employees in the biotech sector to advance their professional skills.
Director of Communications
Massachusetts Biotechnology Council
One Cambridge Center, Ninth Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142