Wednesday, May 26, 2010

5 Georgia Technical Colleges Form Bioscience Training Partnership

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Five Georgia state technical colleges have formed a partnership to recruit and train workers for the state’s bioscience industry. Supported by Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Gwinnett, and Valdosta Technical Colleges, the Georgia Bioscience Technology Institute (GBTI) will leverage existing community and industry partnerships to develop a statewide collaborative training network -- sharing curricula, resources and best practices to develop this skilled workforce.

“By aligning these institutions, workforce development and industry, we have laid the foundation for supplying the bioscience industry in Georgia with the workforce it needs, both today and in the future”

GBTI targets three regions of the state with high potential for training dislocated workers for the bioscience industry: the Innovation Crescent (a 13 county region from Atlanta to Athens), the Bioscience Circle of South Georgia (an 11 county region surrounding Valdosta) and the Augusta Bioscience Hub (five counties surrounding the Augusta area). This expansion leverages existing bioscience workforce investments by Georgia’s Work Ready Regions, a program of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, and a $1.9M federal grant in 2007 to Athens and Gwinnett Technical Colleges, which launched the GBTI.

“By aligning these institutions, workforce development and industry, we have laid the foundation for supplying the bioscience industry in Georgia with the workforce it needs, both today and in the future,” said Georgia Bio President Charles Craig. “This partnership demonstrates Georgia’s strengths in working collaboratively and in working smarter in today’s economic climate to efficiently and effectively bring new training programs online.”

“Georgia Work Ready Regions were created to link education and workforce development to the state's economic development and ensure our state delivers a pipeline of skilled workers ready to take on today’s work and tomorrow’s innovations,” said Debra Lyons, Director, Governor’s Office of Workforce Development. “By linking together bioscience regions, the GBTI partners will drive growth and ensure Georgia offers a competitive advantage.”

To fund this expansion, the GBTI institutions have submitted a collaborative proposal to the U.S. Department of Labor with the backing of community partners, including 26 bioscience employers, six Regional Workforce Boards, the Atlanta Regional Commission, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning and Georgia Bio.

This grant would enable three of the college partners (Atlanta, Augusta and Valdosta Technical Colleges) to initiate bioscience certificate and associate degree programs to meet their region’s bioscience workforce needs while increasing capacity of the existing bioscience programs at Gwinnett and Athens Technical Colleges. If funded, GBTI will begin expanded operations July 1, 2010.

Georgia Bioscience Technology Institute was initiated as a collaborative effort between the Biotechnology Program at Athens Technical College and the Bioscience Program at Gwinnett Technical College to prepare workers for the exciting Life Science industry. For more information, visit www.gabioscience.org.

Georgia Work Ready was launched in August 2006 by Governor Sonny Perdue and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce to improve the job training and marketability of Georgia's workforce and drive future economic growth for the state. By identifying both the needs of business and the available skills of Georgia's workforce, the state can more effectively generate the right talent for the right jobs. For more information, visit www.gaworkready.org.

Georgia Bio represents nearly 300 pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies, universities, research institutes, government groups and other business organizations involved in the development of products that improve the health and quality of life people worldwide. For more information, visit www.gabio.org.

The Atlanta Regional Commission is the regional planning and intergovernmental coordination agency for the 10-county area (including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties) and the City of Atlanta, dedicated to unifying the region's collective resources to prepare the metropolitan area for a prosperous future. For more information, visit www.atlantaregional.com.

Council for Adult and Experiential Learning The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning is a national non-profit organization which creates and manages effective learning strategies through partnerships with employers, higher education, the public sector, and labor. For more information, visit www.cael.org.

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