National Biotechnology Initiative Under Way in Pennsylvania
U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao kicked off the national Biotechnology Worker Training Initiative in Pennsylvania last month at the facilities of the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG), a public/private partnership founded by the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, UPMC Health System and the state of Pennsylvania.
The PLSG is the first grant recipient in the federal government’s $17.2 million national Biotechnology Worker Training Initiative. The training effort, which is part of the president’s High Growth Job Training Initiative, was touted by Chao, who toured the PLSG facilities and outlined the initiative, which will fund solutions to address the skills needed and work-force challenges facing the life sciences industry. Chao announced a grant of $2.4 million to the PLSG.
“Biotechnology and the life sciences industry is one of the fastest growing opportunities for high-quality job creation in Pennsylvania and the Pittsburgh region. This national biotechnology training initiative will help produce high-skilled workers that are the lifeblood of our industry,” said Dr. Doros Platika, PLSG president and CEO.
According to the Labor Department, the PLSG award is the first in a series of grants designed to increase awareness about promising biotechnology-related careers and address the need for skilled workers in the industry. The PLSG grant project will work to match trained workers with local biotechnology companies. The PLSG will develop curriculum and training that will combine industry skills sets and academic disciplines to shape workers with a “hybrid” of desired capabilities. The project also is designed to create and retain a pipeline of qualified workers who can advance in the biotechnology industry.
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