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University City Science Center

Location

Philadelphia, PA

Project Name

Building an Understanding of Lab Basics (BULB)

Award Amount

Federal Share

Local Match

$246,179

$246,179

The University City Science Center (UCSC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, will expand its recently launched “Building an Understanding of Lab Basics (BULB)” initiative to recruit and train under- and unemployed Philadelphians for biotech careers in the city and surrounding region. BULB will include “soft” and “hard” skills virtual training focused on the basics of biotech laboratories and manufacturing environments, plus on-the-job training at partner employers. This program will be free and open to individuals with a GED or high school diploma, as well as individuals with some college and experience in the workforce. Participants will learn skills desired by employers, build professional connections with companies, and gain access to family-sustaining career opportunities.

UCSC ran pilot BULB cohorts in July 2020 and November 2020. Funds from the STEM Talent Challenge grant will support programmatic costs related to running three industry-advised BULB training cohorts per year over a 24-month period (6 cohorts total); building relationships with and onboarding additional STEM employers as mentors and program advisors; and continuing to scale the program to reach more employers and participants. The project will train approximately 72 participants for work primarily in the cell and gene therapy industry, resulting in 10-20 apprenticeship placements with life sciences employer partners.

This program will provide a critical bridge into the biotech sector; help to close a projected workforce gap; and create new opportunities for individuals underrepresented in the STEM workforce.

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