Thank you, Sonia, to you and your work group for setting up Community College Day.
Attracted by economic incentives and intellectual capital in North Carolina, Big Pharma began to congregate and gather critical mass in the 1980s and 90s. The supply of skilled technicians got tighter and tighter . . . . the phenomenon of stealing talent became a way of life. The pack was off and running but the veterans of that era tell me that talent hopped from company to company like fleas from dog to dog. No company seemed to be able to hold on to workers or ever have enough. The evident shortage of a trained workforce led the site managers of these big pharma companies to lobby the state education entities for an effective training program. In the early 2000s a training support plan was laid out. While nearby universities would develop training plans to equip engineers for biomanufacturing. . .
the remaining 80% of the workforce would become the focus of a newly created network of state supported centers staffed by industry veterans and subject matter experts. BioNetwork is part of the North Carolina Community College System and works closely with the System’s Customized Industry Training Program and all North Carolina Community Colleges that providing workforce training in life science initiatives with the exception of allied health professions. We have been successful in our mission . . . up to this point.
As fast as we refined and expanded our courses and added equipment, the bioscience industries grew faster.
Now BioNetwork must consider how to serve this ever increasing and diversifying sector with less and less money available and within the strictures of current brick and mortar facilities.
The demand for training can no longer be met by our traditional delivery methods. We are mobilizing to take training physically on the road with specially equipped vehicles. We are also moving to stay technically current in virtual delivery.
The Mobile Training Lab rolled into North Carolina last fall and we have brought it to Chicago for you to see. Its on the Exhibition Floor right now. It features moveable benchtops to roll equipment in an out to not only deliver but to customize the skill sets.The STEM Bus, formerly knows at the Mobile Training Unit, is one of our most successful outreach components. It takes science into areas that are not close to museums and do not have easy access to visiting scientists in order to interest young and old in STEM careers. It features hands on exhibits in technology and life sciences. Visitors can take away career cards that tell them which of North Carolina’s 58 community colleges offer training in each area.
One of BioNetwork’s centers focuses on learning tools. They just won “Best in Show” at the National eLearning convention, SolutionFest, for this micropipetting interactive “gaming” lab. [CLICK AND PLAY THE OPENING]We are adding hybrid courses to the asynchronous learning modules already in place. One of the features of the “stackable credentials” project will be a round the clock “lab” that students can virtually or phycially visit for assistance in their training. There is a strong movement among the digital natives of generations X and Y to seek and demand this kind of access to education. I’d encourage anyone out there who wants to stay ahead of that curve to read Anna Kamentetz’s “DIYU” where you will learn more about “Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education”.
We ARE moving beyond our bricks and mortar. How many of you teach in face to face classrooms?How many of you blend face to face instruction with online instruction?How many of you deliver a course that is 100% online?Studies show that, for the X, Y, (and, soon the Z) generations, hybrid classes generate better outcomes than either face to face or strictly online. The questions we should be asking ourselves is how do we free our minds and methods from the bricks we are used to being surrounded by?We are doing this with the help of the experts within North Carolina Community College, within the host colleges who nurture and support usAsheville-Buncombe TechForsyth TechGaston CollegeGuilford Community CollegePitt Community CollegeRobeson Community CollegeWake Technical Community CollegeQuestions?
1. Moving BeyondBrick and Mortarwww.ncbionetwork.orghttp://fineartamerica.com/featured/bricks-and-mortar-lyle-hatch.html