By WRAL Tech Wire STEM News 

RALEIGH, N.C. – Industry leaders in biotechnology and life sciences gathered at the BioNetwork Capstone Center last week to offer expert advice on specialized workforce training.

The annual advisors’ meeting held on Dec. 7 brought educators together with industry experts to discuss skill sets needed in the workforce and solicit feedback on current and future training needs.

The Capstone Center is a state-of-the-art biotech training facility, operated by a consortium of N.C. Community Colleges led by Wake Technical Community College – the state’s second largest community college, annually serving more than 64,000 students.

“We want to offer the very best, most relevant training for our students,” said Capstone Center Director Ana McClanahan. “We rely on industry leaders to provide input on the type of training they need and the skills their workers must have to succeed.”

North Carolina’s biotechnology and life science industries are thriving with more than 500 companies employing 226,823 jobs across the state.

The Capstone Center provides biomanufacturing and biopharmaceutical training for community college students, summer camps for middle school students, and customized training for companies such as Merck and Novartis.

The center also features the region’s most state-of-the-art aseptic suite for hands-on training in clean room processing techniques.

It is located in the Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center on N.C. State University’s Centennial Campus in Raleigh and is one of seven BioNetwork training sites across the state. It was started in 2005 with funding from the Golden LEAF Foundation granted through the N.C. Community College System.

The meeting also included a cake to celebrate the 1,000th student served at the Capstone Center this year.

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