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Biotechnology Curriculum For Workforce Development In Florida

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Recruiting/Retention Lower Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.261.1 - 10.261.9



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Paper Authors

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Tomas Cavanagh

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Richard Gilbert

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Linda Austin

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Edwin Goolsby

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Marilyn Barger Hillsborough Community College

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3486

The Florida Consortium for Biotechnology Workforce Development

Marilyn Barger, Edwin Goolsby, Richard Gilbert, Thomas Cavanagh, Linda Austin Hillsborough Community College/University of South Florida/Florida Space Research Institute/Florida Community College at Jacksonville


Florida’s biotechnology industry is poised for rapid growth and development. Florida currently ranks second in the nation in biomedical employment with more than 2,000 firms employing 50,000 workers in manufacturing medical devices, producing ophthalmic goods, developing biomedical technologies, and discovering and producing new pharmaceuticals, vaccines and diagnostic tests. Most of the elements needed to support rapid expansion of this key industry sector are in place; however, one critical element still needed to support further biotechnology industry expansion in Florida is a highly skilled workforce. Workforce Florida, Inc.’s (WFI) February 2003 report on the biotechnology industry identified workforce development as key to improving Florida’s ability to recruit and retain biotech companies. According to this report, the primary goal in workforce development should be to develop, “short-term, customized training curricula” that provides training in core skills needed for entry level jobs in the biotechnology industry, and address the needs of recent high school graduates, dislocated workers and individuals changing careers. WFI’s 2003 report followed the October 2002 governor designation of the biomedical industry sector as a “high impact” sector. “High Impact” also signifies high wage, high skill job providers. In addition, these business sectors are eligible for state investment tax credits and performance incentives to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers for expansion or relocation to Florida.

In the summer of 2003, Workforce Florida, Inc. awarded a $1.2 million contract to Florida Community College at Jacksonville (FCCJ) and its partners from Florida academic institutions and industry to develop a comprehensive training curriculum for three biotechnology disciplines: biotechnology laboratory technology, biomanufacturing, and regulatory affairs. This new coalition of industry organizations, educational institutions, and other agencies, The Florida Consortium for Biotechnology Workforce Development, is chartered specifically to address one major issue; creating and sustaining a skilled biotechnology workforce.

The Consortium consists of: • Three Florida community colleges – Florida Community College at Jacksonville (FCCJ), Santa Fe Community College (SFCC), and Hillsborough Community College (HCC) • Three state research universities – the University of Florida (UF), Florida Atlantic University (FAU), and the University of South Florida (USF) • BioFlorida, the state industry organization for biotechnology

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright© 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Cavanagh, T., & Gilbert, R., & Austin, L., & Goolsby, E., & Barger, M. (2005, June), Biotechnology Curriculum For Workforce Development In Florida Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14503

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