NIIMBL Pilots Biopharma Manufacturing Program to High School Students in NC

Biomanufacturing, Biopharmaceutical, Workforce

The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) launches NIIMBL bioLOGIC, a pilot program designed to bring awareness to and foster interest in careers in the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry. NIIMBL has partnered with the North Carolina Biotechnology Center and has selected Southern High School of Energy and Sustainability to pilot the 5-week program where students not only will learn and innovate but also will visualize themselves with a career in the industry.

NIIMBL Workforce Development Director, John Balchunas says, “Finding new opportunities to close the awareness gap and spark interest in biopharmaceutical manufacturing careers early in students’ academic years is a pathway that has shown much success across industries, and we are no exception.” Balchunas adds, “We want students across all communities to see themselves in an industry that is rapidly growing, lucrative, and essential to the health of people around the world.”

Southern High School of Energy and Sustainability in Durham was selected for the pilot because the region has experienced robust growth in recent years and the institution has a 95% minority enrollment rate. By implementing the program at Southern High School of Energy and Sustainability, Black and Latinx high school students will have access to the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry within their own community. “It is of utmost importance that students in this community know and understand what careers in this industry are and what qualifications are needed to enter the field. It is equally important for them to see people who look like them to promote self-confidence,” says Jaquela Hill, a health science instructor at Southern High School.