The CERHB Education Center was established as a state resource. Hands-on curricula were developed in Translational Biotechnology at the college and high school levels, including student and teacher training (funded by NSF). In anticipation of these new course offerings, the CERHB submitted a three- year curriculum in industrial biotechnology to the Florida DOE; this curriculum was approved for CTE and Science credit in December 2006 and offered for the first time in the fall of 2007. Over 900 high school students now take the courses, with first graduates expected in May 2010. In addition, hands-on curricula in Industrial Biotechnology were developed for professional entry-level and incumbent workers throughout the state (funded by Workforce Florida, Inc.). An Advisory Council has been assembled comprised of leaders from industry, workforce boards, and economic development agencies from across the state. Industry focus groups, a needs assessment, and surveys have been conducted to determine the current and future needs of companies from around the state. Two curricula were offered for the first time in 2007, and over 240 students have graduated since that time. Combined on-line and wet lab training leads to industry-recognized certificates. CERHB has established an extensive support and participation network of 85 partners including companies, Research Institutes, Professional Societies, Industry Organizations, Chambers of Commerce, materials and equipment suppliers, Business Development Boards, Community Colleges, school districts, and Regional Workforce Boards. These partners are motivated to work with CERHB to implement the programs and services statewide and nationally. CERHB also expands the reach of the education programs, with higher visibility, increased enrollments, more school districts offering the curriculum, education at all levels (high-school, college, university, and professional), and international collaboration.
The Education Center at The Center of Excellence for Regenerative Health Biotechnology serves a central role in providing opportunities to students, employees and teachers for a hands-on laboratory experience in biotechnology. This practical experience is an essential component of our training programs and will produce graduates with not only theoretical knowledge, but also actual experience in manufacturing, laboratory techniques, regulatory affairs, and quality systems. CERHB is committed to recruiting and educating students, teachers, and incumbent and displaced workers for careers in biotechnology. The Education Center:
The CERHB Education and Training Center has been designed to reflect the most current instrumentation and applications used by biomanufacturing companies. To support the rapid growth of Florida's biotechnology-based industry with a well-trained workforce, our state-of-the-art facility provides job-specific, hands on training and education utilizing equipment including:
Our facility also houses an eight station computer-based training room, to provide access to on-line curriculum and to instruct them on the uses and applications for biotechnology/science based software and websites such as Vector NTI, NCBI data-bases, computer-based equipment operation, and data analysis.
Additionally, the CERHB Education Center provides a unique capability for a realistic training environment and, ultimately, employment for university students and industry professionals. The students trained in our programs will be excellent candidates for hire into jobs within our growing regional biotechnology sector that will manufacture drugs, devices, diagnostics, and natural products for human use. Biotechnology companies play a major role in curriculum development to ensure that students are trained in suitable courses. We are working to directly impact the lives of people seeking to increase their knowledge of biotechnology and secure employment opportunities.