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Forsyth Tech awarded $15 million grant in biosciences field

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TWC News: Forsyth Tech awarded $15 million grant in biosciences field
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WINSTON-SALEM -- It's an industry that is a part of everything we do.

Biosciences are at the core of curing diseases, combating hunger and creating new fuels. Through a competitive process, the Department of Labor has awarded Forsyth Tech a $15 million grant to promote job training in biosciences and biotechnology.

"It's products that are medicine," Russ Read, of the BioNetwork at Forsyth Technical Community College, said. "It's products that are used in everyday life."

"People that have ben displaced or lost their jobs," Read said. "Try to find ways and strategies of getting these people back into the market place very quickly."

So with the help of the grant, the school will help create an accelerated program to get former workers back on the job.

While North Carolina's unemployment rate is hovering just below 10 percent, the bioscience market continues to grow, so workers are in demand.

"It's approximately a $100 billion market so unlike other areas of the economy, it's one of the areas of the economy that still maintains it's strength and continues to grow," Read said. "So workers are needed."

"We need more people who are interested in this to get out there so that we can make a difference," student Hannah Sanders said.

So over three years, Forsyth Tech and 12 other community colleges across the country will establish the Community College Consortium for Biosciences Credentials. This means their students can earn specialized credentials that are nationally recognized in the biosciences field.

"It will have a great impact on the school," Dr. Lucien Houenou said. "It will help us get more visibility."

Something that is critical for making future workers more competitive in the job market.

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