MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A new private-public partnership in Alabama seeks to link potential bioscience technicians with career opportunities.
The new Bioscience Technician Program will see participants undergo an online pre-employment course that, upon completion, will facilitate opportunities to work with “esteemed biotech companies,” according to information from Gov. Kay Ivey’s office.
Starting wages for graduates of the program is $20 per hour, with requirements being a high school diploma, proficiency in Microsoft Office and basic math skills.
The new workforce development program comes on the heels of Ivey’s calls to shift focus to improve the state’s labor participation rate, which, unlike the unemployment rate which measures the number of unemployed adults seeking work, measures all unemployed adults. While Alabama’s unemployment rate in July was a record-low of 2.1%, the labor participation rate was 57%, among the highest in the country.
“We are leaving no stone unturned in developing our workforce to meet and exceed industry demands in Alabama,” Ivey said in a statement.
“Bioscience has grown to be one of our state’s premier industries, and we have numerous firms like Hudson Alpha and Southern Research making groundbreaking advancements daily. Supporting this vital economic engine is an absolute must for our state, and I’m proud to partner with BIO Alabama to develop the bioscience leaders of tomorrow.”
BIO Alabama represents and advocates for Alabama’s bioscience-related industries and is the state affiliate of the national Biotechnology Innovation Organization.
“This is a great step forward in our workforce training initiative and creates support not only for our existing biotech companies but provides room for growth and expansion opportunities along with creating better jobs for residents of Alabama,” said Jeremy Blanks, CEO of BIO Alabama.
The program will be managed through a partnership between BIO Alabama and Alabama Industrial Development Training, the state’s workforce training agency. Kevin Taylor, deputy director at AIDT, said the program will help Alabama fuel “groundbreaking research” in the bioscience industry.
“We are thrilled to introduce this innovative Bioscience Training Program in collaboration with BIO Alabama,” Taylor said. “By nurturing talent through hands-on experience and expert guidance, we aim to empower the next generation of biotech professionals, fueling groundbreaking research and driving progress in this vital industry.”
Applications for the new workforce development program are open now, with candidates encouraged to apply at careers.aidt.edu.