The Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative is beginning a unique partnership—namely, the Biotech Workforce Collaborative—with its partners Allegheny General Hospital’s Allegheny-Singer Research Institute, the Community College of Allegheny County, and the Northside Leadership Conference. This effort intends to address the region’s biotechnology workforce shortfall by tapping a promising resource—underserved women.
Pittsburgh is recognized internationally for making significant contributions to the advancement of medicine. However, there currently exists a shortage of skilled biotechnology technicians. The Biotech Workforce Collaborative is an apprenticeship program that provides education and hands-on training to underserved women who are interested in becoming life sciences/biotechnology laboratory technicians. The program specifically targets women whose education and career opportunities may have been interrupted by economic or family-related issues.
Participating women will receive full tuition assistance, books, use of laptop computers, laboratory/clinical training, and career development and job placement assistance. The 3?year program includes coursework in biotechnology and bioethics, and an internship at a local research facility. The Community College will develop the curriculum and provide the classroom instruction. Participants will earn an associate’s degree.
The Collaborative’s pilot program will enroll approximately 12 students this summer and is being supported by a number of local private foundations, including the Eden Hall Foundation.
Illustration: Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative, Allegheny General Hospital’s Allegheny-Singer Research Institute, Community College of Allegheny County, and Northside Leadership Conference.
West Penn Allegheny Health System News (06/20/07)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (06/30/07)