Frederick launches next Biotech Bootcamp and announces new program partner

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Maryland Manufacturing Extension Partnership joins City/County consortium to expand third Biotech Bootcamp in Frederick

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“The Biotech Boot Camp classes helped me get a career, not just another job.” Thomas Barile, Biotech Boot Camp Participant

Following the completion of two successful sessions, Frederick Community College, Frederick County Workforce Services, The City of Frederick Department of Economic Development, and the Frederick County Office of Economic Development are pleased to announce the next "Biotech Bootcamp" will be held in Frederick in January 2023. Maryland Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Maryland MEP) has joined the Frederick consortium to provide additional programming support aimed at expanding the program’s footprint in the future.

The biotech industry in Frederick County continues to experience rapid growth and growing demand for entry-level workers. “Frederick County is the second-largest biotech cluster in Maryland and is constantly growing. The Biotech Bootcamp is a great way to support the workforce needs of businesses that are looking to start, expand and locate in Frederick County,” said Solash Aviles, Senior Business Development Manager, Frederick County Office of Economic Development.

Frederick’s Biotech BootCamp is a free 4-week training program designed to teach participants the basic skills needed for entry-level positions within the biotech industry. The training program presents a great opportunity for displaced workers and those interested in launching a career in biotech. Participants do not need a specialized background or degree to participate in the Biotech Bootcamp. The close partnership between the local biotech industry and all the stake holders at the college, workforce services, and economic development have resulted in measurable outcomes. Program participants in Frederick’s prior Biotech Bootcamps have already accepted positions averaging $22 - $25 per hour as well as provided opportunities for internships and apprenticeships.

Dr. Savita Prabhakar, Frederick Community College Biotechnology Program Manager, shared, “It’s exciting that most of the first two boot camps participants are now working in the biotech industry either in manufacturing or quality control. Program participants have jumpstarted new career paths working for companies that are vested in the ongoing education and professional growth of employees.” This impressive track record has led to significant applicant interest in the coming session.

The program team hopes to grow and expand the programming through the addition of a new partner, Maryland MEP. “Maryland MEP is thrilled to deliver the 2023 Biotech Boot Camp in conjunction with our Frederick partners. This program has proven to help dozens of biotech companies with recruiting, training, and hiring qualified workers who are vital to the growth of the manufacturing industry,” shared Michael Kelleher, Executive Director Maryland MEP. The additional funding and support of Maryland MEP will help to further solidify the program’s future and expand talent pipeline opportunities for the region.    “Employers who have supported the previous Biotech Boot Camp sessions and hired graduates have expressed great satisfaction with the candidates they have chosen. Through their continued support, they see the value in utilizing the BBC program as a pipeline development tool,” stated Latrice Lewis, Business & Employment Specialist with Frederick County Workforce Services.

Following the successful completion of the course, program participants will be guaranteed interviews with local/regional biotech companies. Participating Frederick-based companies to date include: AstraZeneca, Lonza, Valogic, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Kite, BioNTech, Medigen, Milipore Sigma, Meso Scale Diagnostics, and Texcell.

In recognition of program successes and the collaborative nature of this program, Frederick’s Biotech Bootcamp recently received a prestigious Silver Award from the International Economic Development Council at its annual conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Mary Ford-Naill, Economic Development Manager of Economic Development with The City of Frederick shared,” Economic development is a team sport, and this program has been a big win for both the participants and the biotech industry. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for this program.”

The third Biotech Bootcamp will be held in person at Frederick Community College beginning in January 2023.
For additional information on future Biotech Bootcamp programs, contact Dr. Savita Prabhakar at sprabhakar@frederick.edu.

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