Build Up Local Life Sciences (BULLS) is creating talent pipeline for bio industry jobs

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At the height of the pandemic, City of Durham leaders realized they were in a unique position to solve a growing problem.

The life sciences companies in Durham were in urgent need of skilled employees. Durham residents, especially those displaced by the pandemic, needed employment to pave a way to economic mobility. The solution: the Build Up Local Life Sciences (BULLS) initiative.

“At least 25 new students will be recruited for the BULLS initiative,” said Ingrid Charles, director of Durham Tech’s biopharma and BioWork programs. “This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to start a career in the biotech industry. Not only will students receive a scholarship to pay for tuition, but they will also receive a stipend to cover other expenses.”

The organization’s goals are to provide employment opportunities for those displaced by the pandemic, develop an aligned pipeline for Durham youth and adults and increase the ability of Durham’s training infrastructure and resources to match local life sciences companies’ needs.

The BULLS initiative is also an equity-centered initiative that seeks to recruit underrepresented students. To qualify, applicants must have a high school diploma or high school equivalency, be a Durham County resident and be 18 to 24 years old.

In addition to the scholarship and stipend, BULLS participants will complete Durham Tech’s four-month biomanufacturing program and participate in job interviews with local life sciences companies. As part of their studies, students will earn the BioWork certificate, which provides students with the background and knowledge to begin positions in biomanufacturing.

“This program opens up many job opportunities to students, including working on lifesaving COVID vaccines and working with life sciences leaders such as Merck, KBI, Eli Lilly and Pfizer,” said Charles.

The biomanufacturing program courses also count toward associate’s and bachelor’s degrees if students choose to pursue these paths.

In addition to Durham Tech and NCBiotech, BULLS partners include Durham County, Made in Durham, Durham Chamber of Commerce and City of Durham.

Register for the BULLS program now at Durham Tech.

Original Article Source: WRAL TechWire