June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.148.1 - 11.148.8
A Work Force Development Success: Distance Based BS Program in Bio-Manufacturing
A well-trained workforce is an essential factor when manufacturers analyze and decide where they will locate, expand or maintain production facilities. Bio- manufacturing, which includes diverse areas such as biotechnology, pharmaceutical and life sciences industries, is a growing and competitive area that has the potential to replace some manufacturing operations in many states that have been lost to global economics. To maintain a competitive position for this industry segment, North Carolina implemented the BioNetwork initiative which connected community colleges across the state to provide the specialized training, curricula and equipment needed to develop a world-class workforce in bio- manufacturing.
Although the BioNetwork provides a focal point for development of the North Carolina bio-manufacturing work force, its benefit could be enhanced by creating a formal pathway for associate degree graduates to continue to a baccalaureate program. To complicate the situation, many BioNetwork former and current students are working adults and are geographically bound due to family and employment commitments. To address this need, East Carolina University and the North Carolina Community College System partnered to create a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Technology with a concentration in Bioprocess Manufacturing that would be delivered through the ECU distance education network. Students in this program complete the first two years of a bio- manufacturing curriculum at one of several participating community colleges in the North Carolina BioNetwork and obtain an associate degree. The students will then have the opportunity to continue their studies through the ECU distance learning network and complete the aforementioned Bachelor of Science Degree.
This paper examines the bio-manufacturing industry and the development of the North Carolina BioNetwork. It then explains how the 2+2 degree completion program was developed, the identification of learning objectives, and the process of building a collaborative relationship with a community college system.
The United States Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration reported that the biotechnology industry would have an employment level of 814,900 by 200710. Not only will there be a rise in biotechnology jobs, but bio- manufacturing positions excellent pay helps with the recruitment of a workforce. Annual salaries for entry-level technicians start at $25,000 to $30,000 and can progress to $50,000 in as little as five years8. The average salary for all
Smith, G., & Cooper, B., & Batts, D., & Kauffmann, P. (2006, June), A Work Force Development Success: Distance Based Bs Program In Bio Manufacturing Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/203
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