College News

CCCC receives grant for biotechnology education

05.01.2004

Sanford, NC — Central Carolina Community Collegern (CCCC) has received a grant from the North Carolina Communityrn College System (NCCCS) to enhance biotechnology education.  Thern funds will be divided between the college’s bioprocessrn and industrial systems technology programs.

rnApproximately $84,000 of the grant’s $122,000 funds will be used to purchaserntraining equipment for the college’s bioprocess technology lab with thernrest going development of a new curriculum within industrial systems technology.

rn“Equipment purchased with this money will enable our students to more closelyrnsimulate what they will actually do while working in a biotech industry,” saidrnDr. Matt Garrett, vice-president of academic affairs and chief academic officer.  “Wernwill also be able to develop a new curriculum that will train technicians torninstall and repair equipment used in bio-industries.”

rnBioprocessing instructors will purchase both a chromatography machine that allowsrnstudents to sort biological components and a large equipment sanitizer.  Bothrnpieces are necessary to train students to work in a biotech field, but are veryrnexpensive.

rn“This money gives us the opportunity to purchase pieces of equipment thatrnwe mightrnnot be able to buy with the regular community college budget,” said SusanrnPoindexter, lead instructor for bioprocessing technology.  “We wantrnto make the laboratory experience as close to the working environment as possible.”

rnCCCC’s bioprocessing technology program prepares graduates for work assistingrnin the creation of vaccines, antibiotics, and other biological components.  Graduatesrncan expect to find jobs with starting salaries averaging $29,000.  CCCCrnoffers both a two-year degree program and one-year certificate program in bioprocessingrnproduction technology program.

rnThe remaining funding will be used to launch a new concentration under the industrialrnsystems technology program, which prepares students to be industrial mechanics.  Theyrnlearn a wide variety of skills that allow them to install, troubleshoot and repairrnindustrial equipment.

rnThe proposed major will focus on the installation and repair of bioprocessingrnequipment.  Graduates will specialize in the installation and repair ofrnbio-manufacturing related equipment.

rn“The biotech industry is expected to grow statewide and so will the needrnfor bio-manufacturingrnsupport technicians,” says Preston Sellers, dean of engineering and industrialrntechnology programs.  “The grant gives CCCC the opportunity to developrna curriculum to train this sector of the bio-workforce.”

rnAccording to the NC Biotechnology Center, entry level positions in bioprocessingrnequipment repair ranges from $27,500 to $38,500.  Over the next year, CCCCrnwill hire an instructor to develop the new concentration.   The firstrnstudents are tentatively scheduled to begin classes in the fall semester of 2005.

rnThe NCCCS received $8.7 million from the Golden Leaf Foundation to create a BioNetworkrnto stimulate the growth of the biotechnology industry in NC.  The BioNetworkrnis administered by the NC Biotechnology Center, which issued a call for grantrnproposals during March of 2004. Seven community colleges received funds for equipmentrnand 11 received funds for innovations. 

rnMore information about both the bioprocess technology program and industrialrnsystems technology program can be found online at www.cccc.edu.