July 25, 2023

Forsyth Tech’s National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce (NCBW) is hosting the first BETA Skills Workshops this summer. These short- and long- session professional development programs for college instructors are supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation; the college has, in addition, received a supplemental grant to host national college administrators next year.

The BETA microcredentials, a short-term program, was developed with the Bioscience Core Skills Institute based in Kansas led by Dr. Heather Seitz and the NCBW BETA Skills team.

The BETA Skills Summer Industry Fellows, which is an 8 week program, will present their findings on Friday, July 28 beginning at 9:30 a.m. at Forsyth Tech at Innovation Quarter, 525 Vine Street, Winston-Salem. Dr. Daniel Moore of Southern Maine Community College, who is locally working as a BETA Skills Fellow under the direction Dr. Luke Burnett, CEO of Keranetics, said, “Being embedded in a bioscience company gave me an amazing opportunity to see firsthand what many of my students will be doing when they enter the workforce. I learned a lot about the critical role of quality management and saw how much teamwork occurs in production.

The BETA Skills Summer Fellowship provides an important opportunity for a biologist immersed in academia to experience what day-to-day life is like in the life science industry.  The CEO, Luke Burnett, the entire leadership team and all of the manufacturing group at KeraNetics were welcoming and enthusiastic. I had a great time and came away with new insights and ideas for teaching biotechnology.”

The nearly $80,000 grant ($79,738) will provide support for the NCBW to host professional development opportunities for open to Deans and other high-ranking, higher education professionals who wish to understand more about the converging Biosciences in Biomedical Emerging Technology Applications (BETA).  

“We’re grateful for the continued support of the NSF Advanced Technical Education (ATE) to help address critical biotechnology workforce needs that will be emergent for the foreseeable future,” said Russ Read, Executive Director of the NCBW. “Thanks to this grant, and the work of our partners, we will be able to explore in-depth opportunities and solutions on how to best prepare a skilled technical workforce.”