North Carolina Economic Development Guide


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52 North Carolina Economic Development Guide will train Patheon's new workers to make oral solid doses, along with skills for other companies across the region. In Raleigh, Wake Technical Community College leads BioNetwork's Capstone Center. Its modern classrooms and labs have the same equipment that workers see on the job. It also has an aseptic suite, which replicates the sterile workspace where pharmaceuticals are manufactured. Inside, students learn the importance of proper glove and gown use. "You need those types of skills to operate in any clean environment," says Vernon Shoaf, BioNetwork's senior director of technology services and media development. "They not only cross companies, but they also cross industries in North Carolina. If you don't get those right, it can cost companies millions of dollars." Graduates, equipped with best lab practices and other skills important to the industry, can start work immediately. BioNetwork isn't limited to industry giants. Small food and natural products companies, for example, use quality testing labs hosted by Asheville- Buncombe Technical Community College, says Sarah Shober, senior director of industry training. The labs are a cost-ef ective option for these companies, who often don't have the resources to invest in their own. Unlike most educational institutions, Pharr and her staf work through the summer. That's when they host month- long workshops that immerse mostly middle- and high-school teachers in the biotechnology industry. They visit BioNetwork training sites and the companies that rely on them. Participants return to their classrooms loaded with information that they can share with the next generation of workers. "When we are going to the middle schools, we're often showing students the industry is not what they have perceived," Pharr says. Instead, they see the path that puts these careers within reach. The Capstone Center is housed at Golden LEAF Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center at N.C. State University's Centennial Campus.

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