CCCC will receive Build Back Better Regional Challenge funding
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Central Carolina Community College's Bioprocess Technology program provides the theoretical background ... (more)
SANFORD - Twenty-one winners have been announced in the Build Back Better (BBB) Regional Challenge -- an Economic Development Administration grant program funded by the American Rescue Plan. The highly competitive grant competition received 529 applications, from which 60 finalists were initially identified. From this group, the final 21 awardees were selected and will share a combined total funding of $1 billion to complete 123 individual strategic projects.
Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) is a partner on the winning Accelerate NC - Life Sciences Manufacturing Coalition project. This initiative, led by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, will receive $25 million to strengthen its life sciences manufacturing cluster by investing in a more robust pipeline of biotech talent across the state and expanding those opportunities to underserved and historically excluded communities.
Specifically, a $16.4 million award will fully fund NC BioBetter, a project to expand entry-level biotechnology training programs at CCCC and nine other community colleges across the state. Funding will provide CCCC with $1.3 million over the next three years to support salaries for Bioprocessing faculty and Education Navigators, as well as to procure critical program-related equipment and supplies.
An additional $900 thousand will go to the North Carolina Community College System Office to sustain and support overall consortium activities. The remaining funds will be distributed among the other community college partners.
CCCC President Dr. Lisa M. Chapman notes that in the past two years, the college has helped almost 250 students develop the necessary skills to join the growing bioprocessing workforce. "We have great local talent and we want our residents who are interested in this field to successfully access the great careers in our growing biotech industry," said Dr. Chapman. "CCCC recognizes that we need to respond to regional workforce needs and understands the value of leveraging our strong partnership with sister colleges. We are pleased that through this funding, our federal government acknowledges that local colleges, working with sister institutions throughout the region, enhance community economic mobility which is essential to sustain regional economic success."
Dr. Lisa Smelser, CCCC Biotechnology Program Director, says: "Together as a regional coalition, NC BioBetter will directly support students across the state to maximize our collective positive impact on developing a right-skilled biotechnology workforce. Locally, these funds are exactly what's needed to elevate CCCC BioWork and Biotechnology programs as we grow into the E. Eugene Moore Manufacturing and Biotech Solutions Center."
Central Carolina's Bioprocess Technology program provides the theoretical background and hands-on experience for students seeking a career in biopharmaceutical manufacturing as well as provide current pharmaceutical employees the opportunity for promotion and bachelor's degree transfer. Learn more about the CCCC Bioprocess Technology program at www.cccc.edu/bioprocess.
For more information on Central Carolina Community College - which is dedicated to providing pathways to achievable dreams, visit www.cccc.edu.
About NC BioBetter
NC BioBetter, a coalition of North Carolina Community Colleges, was established in the summer of 2020, when Central Carolina Community College led an effort to secure funding to increase the pipeline of biotechnology workers to support growing industry demand in an 11 county region of north central N.C. Though initial applications for funding were unsuccessful, the coalition -- including CCCC, Durham Tech CC, Johnston CC, Vance-Granville CC, Wake Tech CC and the NC BioNetwork -- continued to work together over the next two years to solidify project needs and objectives, ultimately pursuing multiple other funding opportunities. With the announcement of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge, the original coalition added five more community colleges: Alamance, Caldwell, Forsyth, Pitt, and Wilson. Today, the coalition covers 18 counties across the state.
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