Governor continues “Jobs and Opportunity” Tour
Highlights skills goal and importance of training Maryland’s workforce
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Martin O’Malley today continued the “Jobs and Opportunity” Tour by visiting the BioTechnical Institute of Maryland, Inc (BTI) in Baltimore. The Governor highlighted Maryland’s highly-skilled and educated workforce as the key to competing in a rapidly-changing 21st century economy.
“In Maryland’s Innovation Economy, our greatest competitive assets are the talents, skills, creativity, ingenuity, and education of our people,” said Governor O’Malley. “Thanks to innovative initiatives like the BioTechnical Institute of Maryland, we can provide Marylanders with the training and tools they need for jobs in quality control, manufacturing and other areas in an emerging industry. Together, we can continue to invest in our people and give them the opportunity to succeed and secure their economic future while harnessing and maximizing our competitive advantages as a State.”
The Administration has set a strategic goal to increase the number of Marylanders who receive skills training by 20 percent by the end of 2012. To date, the Administration has increased the number of Marylanders who have completed skills training by more than 13 percent.
BTI offers tuition-free training and placement assistance to highly-motivated unemployed and underemployed high school graduate adults from the Baltimore area to prepare them for positions as skilled and reliable lab technicians. BioSTART, a 240-hour pre-training program, includes instruction in contextualized academics such as math and communication and professional development, all under the purview of the bioscience industry. Successful completers of BioSTART enter BTI’s Lab Associates Program which includes nine weeks of lecture and laboratory exercises in clean room practices, cell culture techniques, FDA-sanctioned Good Manufacturing Practices and is followed by a 100 hour paid internship.
“As seen from the many successes of our graduates from the BioTechnical Institute of Maryland, our training provides not only the opportunity for a better job, but also an exciting career in the growing bioscience industry,” said BTI Executive Director Kathleen Weiss. “BTI is delighted to host Governor O’Malley and to be showcased as an example of effective workforce training and an integral component of Governor O’Malley’s ‘Jobs and Opportunities’ initiative.”
Approximately 75 percent of BTI graduates move on to professional positions in the bioscience industry within three months of completion. Graduates have been hired by 35 organizations in Maryland; Johns Hopkins alone employs about one quarter of the BTI grads. Analysis of the long-term retention rate since 1998 shows approximately 75 percent of BTI participants are still employed in the bioscience industry or pursuing additional related education.
Established in 1998 by Dr. Margaret B. Penno, Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of the Cell Culture Laboratory at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, BTI receives funding from many sources, both private and public including The Abell Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Charles T. Bauer Foundation, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and the Social Innovation Fund. BTI has held 25 classes and graduated 265 students from the Lab Associates Program.
With a highly-skilled and educated workforce, Maryland has become a hub for science, technology and discovery, and a leader in the Innovation Economy. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Maryland ranks #1 in the nation for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and remains one of the best-positioned states to grow, create jobs and prosper in the coming years. The Milken Institute ranks Maryland #1 for human capital capacity, and the Kauffman Foundation ranks Maryland #3 for the state’s ability to win in the New Economy in the 2010 State New Economy Index.