New Funding for Bioscience Program Expansion at Maricopa County Community Colleges

Congressman Greg Stanton (AZ-9) and Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) leaders gathered at the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation (CEI) LabForce to announce the $1 million in federal Community Project Funding secured in a House Appropriations bill for bioscience program development at the Maricopa Community Colleges.

In April, MCCCD submitted a proposal for Community Project Funding (CPF) to Congressman Greg Stanton for the expansion of bioscience programs to

better-serve this growing industry’s workforce needs. The funding has been successfully secured by the Congressman in the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, H.R. 8295.

“As a result of Arizona’s rapidly growing bioscience sector, the Maricopa Community Colleges have taken critical steps in investments and resources needed to support the expansion of current workforce development opportunities for our student population,” stated Marie Sullivan, Governing Board President of the Maricopa County Community College District. “This program is unique because not only do we train the traditional laboratory technician, but we provide the bioscience employers with the niche skill sets necessary to operate and elevate their bioscience businesses,” MCCCD President Sullivan continued. “We appreciate Congressman Stanton’s leadership and commitment to workforce and economic development in this State and securing critical federal funding for these programs which will give additional resources and allow our incredible students to continue thriving in the workforce.”

“Schools like Maricopa Community Colleges give our students the tools that could help them find the next scientific breakthrough or discover lifesaving cures—and they attract companies who are looking for a highly skilled and developed workforce. These companies bring jobs to the Valley, bolster our economy and help keep our graduates here at home,” Congressman Greg Stanton said. “That’s why I’m proud to partner with MCCCD to help to expand and develop its STEM program, equipping our best and brightest with the skills they need to thrive.”

“As part of the Maricopa Community Colleges, CEI LabForce helps bioscience innovators and businesses of all sizes succeed by producing entrepreneurial, educational, and workforce development resources” stated Dr. Steven R. Gonzales, Interim Chancellor of the Maricopa Community Colleges. “While the construction of the space concludes, the development of high-quality educational content and curriculum is the current venture, and the Community Project Funding secured by Congressman Stanton will support this important work. We thank Congressman Stanton for his leadership to secure funding to support the CEI LabForce Bioscience Program at the Maricopa Community Colleges.”

Bioscience is the application of knowledge to develop biological solutions that sustain, restore, and improve the quality of human, plant, and animal life, serving sub-sectors such as medical and testing laboratories, medical devices and equipment, pharmaceuticals, and other biological research and development. According to Lightcast, a leading labor market and economic analytics tool, the bioscience workforce in Arizona is projected to grow an estimated 20% over the next decade.

In addition to traditional Laboratory Technician training and upskilling programs, CEI LabForce provides incubation space for bioscience entrepreneurs across Maricopa County, working with businesses of all sizes to succeed by delivering exceptional entrepreneurial, educational, and workforce development resources. The Executive Director of CEI LabForce, Thomas Schumann, was named the 2021 Arizona Bioscience Educator of the Year.

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