For two decades, Wistar’s Biomedical Technician Training (BTT) pre-apprenticeship program has injected biomedical talent into the region’s life sciences workforce by ushering class after class of promising Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) students to attain the skills and experience required to become part of a growing biomedical science workforce. Director of the Pennsylvania Apprenticeship and Training Office Eric Ramsey and the PA Department of Labor & Industry officially recognized the BTT Program as a state-credentialed, non-traditional, biomedical pre-apprenticeship program.
“Across the nation, states look to strengthen their pipeline of skilled workers and on-the-job training opportunities to keep talent and jobs local,” said Brian Keith, Ph.D., Wistar dean of biomedical studies. “Within Pennsylvania, Wistar’s BTT Program has been providing students with highly competitive skills that prepare them for success as research assistants in the burgeoning life sciences workforce.”
Through learn-and-earn classwork and on-the-job laboratory training, CCP students from diverse backgrounds embark on an alternative to the traditional coursework track. Taught by experienced mentor-scientists, they learn biomedical techniques and skills while bringing out-of-the-box problem solving skills and a strong work ethic from diverse perspectives to enhance the STEM/biomedical workforce.
“What started as a commitment to developing a pipeline of research lab technicians for the burgeoning life sciences region in Philadelphia has become much more than the sum of its parts,” said William Wunner, Ph.D., Wistar director of outreach education, technology training and academic affairs. “In the BTT Program, I see the growth potential of our students—some are looking to break into the life sciences industry and some are setting their sights on attaining further education degrees and pushing beyond. Either choice makes the region stronger.”