October 13

California Biomanufacturing Center Awarded ARPA Grant to Train Biotechnology Workforce

The California Biomanufacturing Center said the City of Vacaville awarded it a two-year, $750,000 grant through funding provided under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to retrain displaced workers and provide skilled training for new workers.

The City Council of Vacaville identified the California Biomanufacturing Center’s Rapid Alternative Medtech Pathway (RAMP) as an economic recovery priority for the funding through APRA. RAMP includes an industry-driven curriculum, industry matchmaking and placement, job fairs, and community recruitment. The format is consistent with national policy frameworks and best practices.

“Biotechnology remains one of few industries experiencing a hiring crisis. There are not enough trained people to fill available biotech jobs,” said Matt Gardner, board president of the California Biomanufacturing Center. “These jobs are sought after because they are stable, low turnover, high wage, and lead to further opportunities.”

The CBC RAMP program features rapid-response training to help people transition to non-scientific jobs essential to the biotech industry. These include HVAC, facilities, operations, supply chain, loading dock, procurement, office management, and related support positions, none of which require biology degrees. Initially, this program would recruit participants who lost jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic in fields including retail, restaurant, and service sectors with an emphasis on the retooling of workers to careers in high wage / high skill industries. The program will also serve new workers entering the workforce as a pathway out of poverty to underserved communities.

Read the full release


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