RI Bio Launches Innovative Workforce Training

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MARCH 23, 2021 – PROVIDENCE, RI – RI Bio, the trade organization and voice of the Rhode Island Life Sciences industry, has teamed up with URI Pharmaceutical Development Institute at the College of Pharmacy, Back to Work RI, and RI’s Department of Labor and Training to introduce workers to careers in biotechnology. “Introduction to Biotechnology” is a free, virtual course providing an overview in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) fields.

“Biotechnology is an exciting, rapidly growing field that provides good, family-sustaining jobs,” said Carol Malysz, RI Bio Executive Director. “And they’re not just laboratory jobs. Biotechnology offers many different kinds of opportunities to make exciting discoveries and solve difficult problems. Our industry partners are continually looking for skilled workers, and this course will help people get started on the path to science and a rewarding career.”

Presented by Beth Zielinski-Habershaw, PhD, Coordinator of Training at URI’s Pharmaceutical Development Institute, the three-part course delves into current trends in biotechnology spanning marine, agricultural, and medical biotechnology. It will introduce learners to careers as diverse as fish farm technician, agricultural product development, and medical biomanufacturing technician. It also includes information on pharmaceutical development, as well as antibiotic and vaccine development. Participants will learn the skills desired by science and technology employers and make connections with Rhode Island biotech employers.

“Our mission is to support the economic development of the region’s pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries and expand the life sciences workforce,” Zielinski-Habershaw said. “Biotech work is extremely fulfilling. The goals within the biotechnology industry are to design products and processes that improve the quality of life for the patient and provide solutions for environmental issues. These goals positively impact communities locally, regionally and globally.”

The partnership of RI Bio, URI, Back to Work RI and DLT is aimed at helping workers displaced by COVID-19 find new careers, as well as returning veterans and the unemployed. Beginning any time after March 22 and running through June 30, Intro to Biotechnology is self-paced and generally takes about two weeks to complete.  A follow-on course, Developing Lab Skills, will begin later in the spring. RI residents who are interested in STEM fields and have access to a computer and the internet can apply by contacting project manager Martha Langer at [email protected] or by visiting: ri-bio.org/IntroBiotech.

Malysz reports the biotech sector in Rhode Island is currently comprised of 442 companies and 4686 workers who are treating, protecting and nourishing the world. As Rhode Island’s only BIO affiliate, we facilitate introductions to scientists, entrepreneurs, companies, funding sources, and business development professionals.

About RI Bio

As the trade group and voice of southeastern New England’s life sciences industry, RI Bio fosters strategic partnerships that can create a healthier world and grow the life sciences economy. They serve as a catalyst for biotech industry acceleration, advocating for better policy, educating a strong life science workforce, collaborating with life sciences companies, hospitals, universities, capital sources and government agencies, sharing information and expertise, and promoting the advancement of science. The result is improved quality of life, advanced innovation and discovery, and a robust life sciences ecosystem.

About the Pharmaceutical Development Institute (PDI)

An affiliate of the URI College of Pharmacy, PDI is committed to enhancing and expanding the capacity and workforce development of pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms. They offer a state-of-the-art training center and exceptional expertise to help train the biotech workforce as well as help revolutionize pharmaceutical development and serve as an economic engine in the life sciences industry. They also partner with industry, government and academic clients to offer clinical manufacturing assistance of solid dose and other Phase 1 clinical materials.

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