March 24, 2022

WPI is collaborating on the development of biomanufacturing job training for Worcester high school students as part of a federal effort to boost the biotechnology industry and workforce nationwide.


Eric Young

Eric Young, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, is leading WPI’s participation, which includes providing students with access to WPI training facilities at the Biomanufacturing Education and Training Center (BETC) at Gateway Park.

The project is led by BioBuilder, an educational foundation in Boston, and funded with a two-year $250,000 grant from the Bioindustrial Manufacturing and Design Ecosystem (BioMADE), a Manufacturing Innovation Institute sponsored by the U.S. Defense Department.

In partnership with the Worcester Public Schools’ Innovation Pathways Program, the project will create curriculum and training to prepare high school graduates for biomanufacturing jobs. WPI will help align the new program to existing college training programs.

“WPI is a leader in biomanufacturing education in Central Massachusetts and greater New England, and we are invested in developing the next generation of biomanufacturing professionals to retain the state’s position as an industry leader for biotechnology,” Young said.

The project also aligns with WPI’s participation in BioConnects New England, a multistate initiative to support biotech hubs that has received initial funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge grant program.

Other collaborators on the project are Worcester Public Schools, Quinsigamond Community College of Worcester, and Twist Bioscience, a synthetic biology company based in San Francisco.

The project is one of 16 initiatives funded by BioMADE with $12.1 million to accelerate bioindustrial manufacturing in the United States. In Worcester, training is open to students at the city’s public comprehensive high schools. The first group of students started training in fall 2021.

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