Biotech Training Grant

SJSU Research Foundation Awarded $5 million Biotech Training Grant

Contacts for the media:
Jeff Gordon, SJSU Research Foundation, 408-924-7395
Pat Lopes Harris, SJSU Media Relations, 408-924-1748

Contact for prospective students:
Sue Gayrard, SJSU Clinical Laboratory Scientist Training Program, 408-924-4851

SAN JOSÉ, Calif., — The San José State University Research Foundation has received a $5 million federal stimulus grant, the largest of nine similar grants made in California. The U.S. Department of Labor released these funds as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed into law by President Obama last year. San José State’s Clinical Laboratory Scientist Training Program will use the grant to underwrite a new initiative, the California Statewide Biotechnology Clinical Laboratory Consortium Project.

“This is tremendous acknowledgement of San José State’s leadership in fostering critically needed education and training initiatives,” said San José State University President Jon Whitmore. “A key factor is partnerships with public and private organizations to ensure a well prepared pipeline of graduates who can readily contribute to the success of life science and biotech companies.”

The project will establish an education-to-employment pipeline for 200 licensed laboratory professionals including medical laboratory technicians, clinical laboratory specialists, clinical genetic molecular biologist scientists and cytogeneticists, with hourly wages ranging from $22 to $45. Regional employment organizations will help identify and recruit candidates to route to two-year or four-year institutions. In addition to running its existing CLS program, SJSU will coordinate statewide efforts including sharing information and leveraging resources.

“This project provides crucial support to the clinical laboratory and biotechnology industry at a time when a shortage of licensed scientists and technicians continues to challenge us,” said Sue Gayrard, a biological sciences instructor with SJSU’s CLS program. “With this funding, clinical internships will be developed in diverse locations including acute care facilities and reference labs in both rural and urban centers.”

The California Statewide Biotechnology Clinical Laboratory Consortium will build upon San José State and DeAnza College’s shared success in fostering cooperation between a state university and community college. Such cooperation, known as articulation, helps students who start at community colleges complete their education at state universities in an efficient and meaningful manner, with the ultimate product being highly educated and skilled workers ready to contribute to the state’s biotech industry.

In his letter of support, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called plans for the project a “model for collaboration, linking together the state’s world-renowned university systems, workforce investment boards and private industry partners.” Approximately 45 educational institutions, job placement centers, health industry providers and laboratories will be involved. Bay Area partners include The Bay Bio Institute, De Anza College, San Francisco State University, California Applied Biotechnology Center, Catholic Healthcare West, Kaiser Permanente, Valley Care Medical Center, San Jose-based Work-To-Future and leading biotech companies such as Gene Security Network and Navigenics.

Of the $750 million in job training funded by the Recovery Act, the federal government has awarded $226 million in health care and high growth grants. “The grants will ensure that thousands of workers across the nation receive high-quality training and employment services, which will lead to good jobs in healthcare and other industries offering career-track employment and good pay and benefits,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

Read more on the SJSU Clinical Laboratory Scientist Training Program.

Read more on the SJSU Research Foundation.

The San José State University Research Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation established to enable and promote externally-funded programs that further SJSU’s comprehensive educational mission, impact, and public benefit.

San José State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 4,700 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.