Top of the Class
New certificate course trains a ready workforce as biotech companies in Pearland take off
The only challenge to this success is the increased demand for a faster workforce pipeline. Fortunately, the Pearland Economic Development Corporation (PEDC) has a solution.
This initiative offers two options to quickly train individuals for employment in the biotech field: Level 1, a six-week commitment for Biotech: Material Handler; and Level 2, a twelve-week commitment for Biotech: Lab Technician. Each level consists of 64 contact hours, with lectures delivered online and labs and assessments conducted on-site.
Alvin Community College is offering this course, which commenced on August 21, under its Continued Education and Workforce Development (CEWD) department. This department provides programs that incorporate current and new technical courses, training partnerships with businesses and industries, and other opportunities for individuals to acquire and upgrade skills or pursue personal enrichment.
Before this initiative, the region's two- or four-year programs were only graduating a dozen or so individuals. Early discussions focused on how to expedite workforce development through a local community college's certificate program. Alvin Community College was prepared to respond to the local workforce's needs.
PEDC played a pivotal role in establishing an advisory committee comprised of industry partners responsible for vetting the Biotechnology Certificate Course curriculum. Industry partners included the University of Houston Clear Lake (UHCL) at Pearland, Lonza, Millar Inc., Merit Medical, and the nonprofit organization BioHouston.
These partners are invaluable as plans continue to expand these certification programs.
Given the ever-increasing demand for a biotechnology workforce in the Pearland area, the future wish list includes expanding the certification program to other education partners.
For more information about the Biotechnology Certificate Program at Alvin Community College, visit this link.