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QCC Receives Diversity and Workforce STEM Grants from MBI

February 2023
  • MBI Grant
    Program Administrator for STEM Initiatives Adrienne Linnell, Program Manager for Biomanufacturing Workforce Development Programs Kwesi Foster, Associate Vice President for Strategic Academic and Workforce Initiative Kathy Rentsch, COO- MA Office of Business Development Nhat Le, Representative John Mahoney and President & CEO - MA Biomedical Initiatives Jon Weaver

Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (MBI), the longest-running life sciences incubator in the Commonwealth, announced today that Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) received a 2022 Workforce Challenge Grant and a 2022 Increasing Diversity in STEM Challenge Grant. MBI’s Challenge Grants help fund programs that increase the diversity of the life sciences workforce, while also solving the industry’s future workforce needs.

QCC received the Workforce Challenge Grant funding to support a new 18-hour, stand-alone cell culture module that will be added to the existing 10-week Biomanufacturing Technician program. QCC also received an Increasing Diversity in STEM Challenge Grant to support diversification in STEM through accessible early college courses, youth exposure to STEM and STEM careers, and adult learning programs.

“The work QCC is doing is vital to ensuring a healthy, vibrant, and diverse life sciences workforce,” said Jon Weaver, president and CEO of MBI. “QCC embraces our Challenge Grant ideals by partnering with industry to create opportunities for new and diverse populations to join the growing industry.”

MBI welcomed all Challenge Grant recipients to its 17 Briden Street facility in Worcester to meet other recipients, create opportunity for connection and collaboration amongst recipients, and for recipients to tour the facility and meet the emerging life sciences companies that reside at MBI. Recipients also received a certificate from State Representative John Mahoney (D-Worcester).

“Central Massachusetts has a vibrant and growing life sciences industry. It’s vital that we are preparing the workforce to be able to hit the ground running to meet those needs,” said Kathy Rentsch, associate vice president for Strategic Academic & Workforce Initiatives from QCC. “We are grateful to MBI for helping us make the connection with industry so that we can design programs that meet their needs and for supporting that programming through the Challenge Grants.”

A report from CBRE titled Life Sciences Research Talent 2022 ranked Worcester the 15th best market in the US for life sciences research talent. In addition, MassBio predicts that 40,000 new Life Science jobs will be created by 2024. As a result, there is a growing need for programs that assess future job opportunities and generate certificates that align with the minimum requirements for employment within the industry. 

Challenge Grants reimburse recipients for program funding spent during the 2023 calendar year. Recipients are eligible to reapply for funding for the next calendar year.