| Discovery is in our DNA
Finding a systematic way ensure that the workforce and training system of today will provide enough qualified workers for Virginia’s bioscience industry tomorrow is a major issue for Virginia Bio.
Bioscience Education and Workforce Development: In 2007, leaders from the board of directors of Virginia Bio formed a new, 501 (C) 3 education foundation to lead the way on STEM education, bioscience internships, student awards and other key initiatives for the 21st Century. The Virginia Bioscience Foundation is the bioscience industry’s premier voice on issues related to science education and workforce development in Virginia.
Mission: In order to have a sufficient long-term pipeline of biotech workers, we need to ensure that students contemplating careers in math and science understand the exciting and worthwhile career opportunities in biotechnology. We also need to encourage young students at the elementary and middle school level, long before they choose specific careers, to appreciate and participate energetically in the challenging work of math and science so that they do not preclude subsequent career choices in the biosciences. Even though many young science and math students will choose careers outside the biotechnology sector, we believe that a Virginia electorate with greater understanding of the benefits of scientific research and development, and of a strong biotechnology economy, is more likely to support public investments in the infrastructure our industry needs to remain competitive in the decades ahead.
To join us, please contact the Virginia Bio office at 804-643-6360.
Resources for Students: Please click here for resources for students interested in opportunities in the biosciences.
Job Board and Resume Posting: The Virginia Biotechnology Association has joined forces with other state bioscience associations to offer a job board and resume posting opportunity for advanced technology careers. The focus of the board is to connect job seekers with life science positions in Virginia and across the country. Here is a link to the job board:
Advanced Manufacturing Skills Development: In 2006, Virginia Bio won a $1.5 million US Department of Labor grant for advanced technology workforce development. The program, Virginia Council on Advanced Technology (VCATS), is now operated by the Virginia Manufacturers’Association (VMA). VCATS meets Virginia’s present and future needs for skilled technical workers by setting the standard for success in industry. As Virginia’s only competency-based industry-endorsed workforce training and certification organization, VCATS provides a customized fast track pathway to credentials for a 21st Century advanced technology career. The VCATS training and certification system, designed and validated by industry partners, is intended to develop a workforce pipeline capable of meeting the cutting-edge requirements of existing and emerging employers in advanced technology fields, such as pharmaceutical, biotech and biomedical, chemical, advanced materials, plastics and semiconductor manufacturing. This is done by assessing an individual’s technical skills and providing online or instructor-led training opportunities to address identified technical skill gaps.
Click here for information on the Virginia Council on Advanced Technology Skills (VCATS).