FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MassBay Community College MassBay Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Department Chair Dr. Nirmal K. Singh with biotechnology students, October 2022 (Photo/MassBay Community College).
WELLESLEY HILLS, Mass. (October 19, 2022) — MassBay Community College has received a $750,000 grant from the Baker-Polito Administration and Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) to create the Center for Biomanufacturing Education and Workforce Training (CBEWT) on its Wellesley Hills campus. This newly-created Center joins the existing Center for Therapeutics and Genomics Training (CTGT), which has been producing workforce-ready biomanufacturing technicians through the College’s biotechnology program since 2020. In addition, this grant will expand curriculum development, with new courses relating to RNA, Cell and Gene therapeutics.
“We are extremely grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration and Massachusetts Life Sciences Center for their continued support of our STEM programs and our students,” said MassBay President David Podell. “Biotechnology and biomanufacturing are career growth sectors in MetroWest and throughout the region, and our students will be on the cutting edge of educational training. Creating this new Center enables MassBay to further prepare our students to compete in today’s workforce while providing a key pipeline of well-trained, work-ready employees for the Commonwealth.”
The grant will allow MassBay to purchase additional industry-specific equipment and train students to expand their knowledge in the biomanufacturing realm. Through the Center, MassBay will also begin to offer short-term courses and workshops to adult learners and high school students that teach the fundamental aspects of basic laboratory techniques in biotechnology, biomanufacturing, and genomics. MassBay will collaborate with a variety of local STEM professionals to offer lectures and seminars to students, further enriching their classroom experiences. Working with science teachers at partner high schools and other higher education institutions, MassBay will facilitate the integration of biotechnology, biomanufacturing, and genomics into other disciplines to nurture young learners.
“As companies increasingly employ biotechnology tools to create economically essential and life-saving products, they seek skilled technicians in all areas of the biomanufacturing process,” said MassBay Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Department Chair Dr. Nirmal K. Singh. “There is an urgent regional and national need to expand Biomanufacturing education and develop technicians in this specialized area to help fill the current employment gap, making the MassBay biotech/biomanufacturing programs critical to the region's economic development. The equipment procured through the CBEWT will meet some of the current biomanufacturing workforce education needs and will continue to build a more equitable future and sustainable bioeconomy.”
The grant is also expected to enable MassBay to create a biomanufacturing certificate degree that will offer seamless transfer pathways for students directly into the biomanufacturing industry by preparing a diverse group of students including first-generation, women, minorities, and underrepresented students with the skills they need a career in biomanufacturing.
“The goal of CBEWT is to increase MassBay’s biotech/biomanufacturing capacity to broaden and expand students’ knowledge base, thus, making them particularly hirable to potential regional biotech and biopharma employers,” said Dr. Singh. “Furthermore, by aligning our work closely with industry, we can pique the interest of young scientists and educate a pipeline of highly talented workers to prevent a workforce shortage.”
The new CBEWT enables MassBay to procure additional equipment critical for biomanufacturing education, including Droplet Digital PCR, Bioreactors/fermenters, and other bioanalytical technologies. The new CBEWT and the existing CTGT will provide the critical infrastructure the College needs to produce workforce ready Biomanufacturing Technicians.
“The new Center will help maintain and protect Massachusetts’ global leadership position in biotechnology and biomanufacturing, while educating students with the necessary skills for a rewarding future career path,” added Dr. Singh. “Through the CBEWT MassBay will continue to meet current and future biomanufacturing workforce needs, and we will continue to build a more equitable future and sustainable bioeconomy.”
MassBay Community College is the most affordable higher education option in MetroWest Boston, offering a robust portfolio of courses and more than 70 associate degree and certificate programs with flexible day, evening, and weekend classes in Ashland, Framingham, Wellesley Hills, and online. MassBay students receive an unmatched educational value by earning stackable credits that transfer to bachelor’s degree programs, and workforce-ready skills necessary to advance careers in high-demand fields such as health and life sciences, automotive technology, engineering, business, cybersecurity, and the humanities. MassBay’s Associate Degree in Nursing (RN) and Practical Nursing (LPN) programs were both ranked as the #1 Nursing Program in Massachusetts in 2020-2021 by national nursing advocacy organizations RegisteredNursing.org, and PracticalNursing.org. Since its founding in 1961, MassBay has been accredited by several governing bodies and remains firmly committed to its mission of meeting the needs of the diverse local communities it serves. We value the intrinsic worth of all individuals, collectively in pursuit of inclusiveness and prioritize our work towards achieving equity within our community and beyond.