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Austin Biotech Workforce Education Consortium: First Year Report

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Abstract:

This report provides a first-year assessment of the Austin Biotech Workforce Consortium to augment biotechnology curriculum offerings at Austin Community College (ACC). New programs are being established in three ACC departments. The Biotechnology Department is implementing an 11-week Fundamentals of Biotechnology Program as an experiment to determine if specially designed, abbreviated training focused on practical skills is sufficient to prepare individuals to access entry-level biotech jobs.

The other two programs provide advanced training for existing students as well as for incumbent workers. The Department of Medical Laboratory Technology is establishing an Advanced Skills Certificate in Molecular Technology; and the Department of Electronics and Advanced Technologies is developing a specialization in Bioinstrumentation.

At the one-year mark, the project has been successful overall. All targeted courses and specializations have been developed and are being implemented. Further, ACC has proven the viability of using faculty externships to develop meaningful certificate programs in a short time frame in order to meet needs for an emerging technology workforce.

WorkSource-the Greater Austin Workforce Development Board administers this two-year demonstration project with funding from Texas Workforce Commission.