College News

Chatham students to benefit from grant


RALEIGH — Central Carolina Community College (CCCC)rn received one of the 35 BioNetwork grants approved by thern State Board of Community Colleges Friday, February 17,rn for specialized biotechnology training.

rn CCCC received a $32,825 grant for its Partnership for Chathamrn County High School Bioprocess Education project.

rn Steve Lympany, CCCC Engineering Technologies chair, saidrn the funds from this grant will enable the college to furnishrn a Chatham campus laboratory with the equipment necessaryrn to support a unique high school bioprocessing technologyrn program that combines in-class and hands-on methodologies.

rn The new equipment will be permanently installed in thern Biology Lab in the Health and Small Business Building atrn the CCCC Chatham campus.

rn CCCC and Chatham County Public Schools have formed a partnershiprn to provide bioprocess education for high school juniorsrn and seniors. High school students will be enrolled at thern college through the Huskins program and will simultaneouslyrn receive credit toward high school graduation and five collegern credit hours.

rn According to the grant proposal, this partnership willrn introduce bioprocess manufacturing to a population withrn geographic access to high wage jobs upon graduation.

rn “rn The goal of this project is to educate high school studentsrn from a rural population in the principles of bioprocessingrn so that they can get a head start in exploring careersrn and initiating workforce preparation for the regional bioprocessingrn industry,” Lympany said.

rn “rn The laboratory activities will develop student proficiencyrn in many basic lab techniques involving process variablern measurements, reading gauges, making chemical solutions,rn preparing growth media and growing cells — all withrn an eye toward the necessity of following current good manufacturingrn practices.”

rn The program is scheduled to begin in the fall semesterrn this year.

rn Community Colleges across North Carolina received $2.5rn million in grants for specialized biotechnology training.rn The grants will further strengthen North Carolina’srn ability to provide the specialized education and hands-onrn training needed by workers to find employment in the highly-regulatedrn biopharmaceutical industry. The funds come from a statern appropriation for the North Carolina Community Collegern System BioNetwork.

rn In a study by the NC Biotechnology Center, it found thatrn this industry creates about 3.000 new jobs a year, of whichrn 2.000 are appropriately trained at the community collegern level. To meet the need for skilled workers, BioNetworkrn has been developing the infrastructure at community collegesrn so that they have the specialized laboratories and equipmentrn needed to provide suitable training for this industry.

rn CCCC is a BioNetwork college.

NCCCS BioNetwork Marketing director Norman Smit contributedrn to this report.