WINSTON-Russ Read, the former CEO of Kucera Pharmaceutical Company, will be the executive director of the federally funded National Center for Biotechnology Workforce being established at Forsyth Technical Community College.

His appointment was announced Wednesday.

Read stepped down as CEO at Kucera in 2004 in an attempt to help the spin-off of Wake Forest University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to save money. In recent months he has served as a consultant as CEO and founder of Hope Pharma Consulting.

The biotech workforce center was funded in June of last year with a federal grant of $5 million.

Forsyth Tech is working as the lead college along with four other community colleges elsewhere in the United States to create the center. The other partners are in New Hampshire, California, Iowa and Washington.

“I am thrilled to have Russ Read join us here at Forsyth Tech. As the executive director of the community college’s National Center for the Biotechnology Work force, Mr. Read will lead the collaborative efforts of community colleges across the country as they work with the biotechnology industry in developing skills standards and complementary curriculum,” said Cynthia Bioteau, vice president of instructional services at Forsyth Tech. “These curricula will be available nationally to assist and support the emerging and incumbent work force within the biotechnology sectors in any part of the country.”

Read holds multiple degrees in biology, health and education administration and empiricism from four different universities.

Read was replaced at Kucera by Academy Funds president Bradford Walters, who continues to serve as acting CEO.

Kucera was founded in 2001. Its lead compound, KPC-2, targets HIV.