Massachusetts Schools Receive Grants for Life Sciences Training Equipment
Posted on January 3, 2013 @ 09:48 am
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) has made $3.2 million in grants available to support the purchase of life sciences training equipment and supplies at vocational/technical schools and public high schools in various cities, and workforce training programs throughout the Bay State.
Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray launched the first round of the MLSC Equipment and Supplies for High Schools Grant Program at the 7th Annual Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Summit held in 2010. Building on the success of the program’s first year, Murray visited the Nashoba Valley Technical High School on Dec. 20, 2012—one of the recipients in this latest round—to award the institution with a $96,665 grant to expand its Engineering Academy to include biotechnical engineering and robotic fabrication. In addition to Nashoba Valley, 30 other schools and programs also received funding.
“Training students to enter the life sciences workforce is a critical part of the Center’s mission,” said Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D., president and CEO of the MLSC. “We want to make those opportunities available to all students across the state, which is why we are focusing resources in this round of grant awards on our vocational/technical schools, and public high schools in our gateway cities. These investments will both strengthen and diversify our life sciences workforce in Massachusetts.”
This grant program seeks to further develop the state’s life sciences workforce by providing funding of up to $250,000 per institution for life sciences equipment and supplies. To be eligible for an award of greater than $100,000, applicants must have secured matching funds or in-kind donations from an industry partner that supports the training program for which the equipment and supplies are needed. Industry sponsors have contributed more than $400,000 in matching funds and in-kind donations as part of this year’s program.
“Use of the equipment purchased through this grant will enable our students in our health sciences, engineering technology and advanced placement biology programs to expand their core curriculums to address specific mathematic and scientific concepts unique to biotechnology,” added Judith Klimkiewicz, Ph.D., superintendent of Nashoba Valley Technical High School.
State Sen. Gale Candaras noted the grant recipients will ensure the continued success of Massachusetts’ precision manufacturing industry. “Precision manufacturers across the state have stressed the need for more machinists in the next five years,” she said, “and this funding will ensure that our students can fill these positions, which offer fair pay and benefits.”
The MLSC is a quasi-public agency of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, tasked with implementing the Massachusetts Life Sciences Act—a 10-year, $1-billion initiative that was signed into law in June of 2008. The MLSC helps create life sciences jobs and support vital scientific research that improves the human condition. It makes financial investments in public and private institutions that are advancing life sciences research, development and commercialization as well as building ties among sectors of the Massachusetts life sciences community. The organization is based in Waltham, Mass.
Photo: Lt. Gov. Murray at the Nashoba Valley Technical High School grant award ceremony.
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