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January 12, 2007
Gwinnett Tech to Share $1.9M Grant to Advance Biotechnology
Georgia Bioscience Technology Institute’s (GBTI) site at Gwinnett Tech will train students and teachers in bioscience
Gwinnett Technical College has been named a co-recipient of a $1.9 million grant for the establishment of the Georgia Bioscience Technology Institute (GBTI) that will serve to advance bioscience educational opportunities in Georgia.
Gwinnett Tech and Athens Tech partnered with the Atlanta Regional Workforce Board on this U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) community-based job training grant. The GBTI grant is one of 72 grants awarded to community colleges that successfully participated in this competition from nearly 450 entries across the nation.
“Community colleges are vital partners in educating and preparing workers for good jobs in their local area,” said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. “The $125 million these 72 community college partnerships will receive under the President’s Community-Based Job Training Initiative is going to help workers succeed in careers in health care, advanced manufacturing and other growing industries.”
The GBTI will use the state-of-the-art teaching laboratories on both campuses to train secondary school and community college teachers and students in current bioscience and biotechnology concepts and techniques. Gwinnett Tech offers an associate’s degree in bioscience technology, and two clinical research professional certificate options.
“With such an emphasis on the development of bioscience in our state and across the nation, we’re so pleased to be able to offer this cutting-edge training ground to educate teachers and students in this booming field,” said Gwinnett Tech President Sharon Rigsby. “The grant for the Georgia Bioscience Technology Institute on Gwinnett Tech’s campus is good news for our region and for the advancement of biotechnology throughout all of Georgia.”
The GBTI is one piece of the statewide network designed to attract biotechnology businesses to the state – and to increase bioscience educational and employment opportunities in Georgia accordingly. In just two years, Georgia has leapt from the nation’s 12th to seventh state in number of biotechnology companies that reside within the state, according to Ernst and Young.
The addition of the GBTI on Gwinnett Tech’s campus will supplement the college’s already cutting-edge bioscience program designed to help prime students for a career in this emerging field. Gwinnett Tech’s bioscience technology associate degree program, plus certificate programs for basic and advanced clinical research professionals (CRPs), train students to perform clinical research studies of new drugs, new applications of approved drugs or new medical devices on humans. Studies conducted by CRPs determine the safety and effectiveness of new therapies on human disease.
CRPs work with doctors, patients and pharmaceutical companies, and are responsible for administering treatments, monitoring patient responses, identifying adverse reactions, collecting and delivering clinical data to the research agency and protecting patient safety and rights.
Gwinnett Tech was one of the first providers to detect a need for these skilled workers in the region and to develop a program devoted solely to training individuals for the bioscience/biotechnology field.
Gwinnett Tech’s advanced clinical research professional certificate program can be completed in two quarters, with prior successful completion of the basic clinical research professional certificate program, which can also be completed in about two quarters. The bioscience technology associate degree can be earned in two years.
Authors of the grant from both colleges (Dr. Robert Powers, bioscience program director, Gwinnett Tech; and Dr. Joe Pyle, project director, and Dr. Jeff Rapp, Athens Tech) have been invited to serve on the newly formed Governor’s Policy Academy Bio-Tech Home Team. This taskforce is operating under the auspices of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development to assist Georgia in developing the technical workforce necessary to continue to grow as a national leader in bioscience and biotechnology.
To learn more about the grant for the Georgia Bioscience Technology Institute (GBTI) or bioscience programs at Gwinnett Tech, call 770.962.7580.
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About Gwinnett Tech
Gwinnett Technical College, one of Georgia's largest technical colleges, serves more than 21,000 students annually to meet the workforce training needs of the region. The college offers more than 50 associate degree, diploma and certificate programs and hundreds of seminars, workshops and courses providing specialized training. Gwinnett Tech’s service area includes Gwinnett and North Fulton counties. Gwinnett Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the associate degree. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or callÂ 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Gwinnett Technical College.Â In addition, some college programs hold separate licensure or accreditation status with appropriate agencies. For more information, visitÂ www.GwinnettTech.edu.
A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.