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University of Maryland partners with community college on biotech training program

Baltimore Business Journal - by Sue Schultz Staff

A Baltimore City Community College life sciences training program will take up space at the University of Maryland, Baltimore's new biotechnology research park, officials announced Wednesday.

David Ramsay, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, announced the partnership with BCCC and Vivien T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy during the celebration of the opening of the University of Maryland BioPark's second building and the groundbreaking of its third building.

"This is a real pipeline, not a virtual one," said Ramsay about the potential to move students from high school labs into entry-level jobs with life sciences companies located at the biopark.

The BCCC Life Sciences Institute will take up about 38,000 square feet in the second building and could train about 200 students a year. The program would provide opportunities for high school studednts to get more hands-on experience in a state-of-the art laboratory. It also would award community college students associate degrees and certificates in life sciences fields such as laboratory technicians and could also link college students with an associate degree to University of Maryland's undergraduate programs.

The school also could be used to train employees or potential employees for specific companies, said Jim Hughes, vice president of research and development for University of Maryland.

The effort received $282,000 from the Small Business Administration in Baltimore on Wednesday. Ramsay also announced that the University of Maryland, Baltimore and BCCC will apply for tax credits for up to $310,000 toward the initiative.

Hughes said BCCC and the university hope to raise about $6 million for the program.