JCC Receives First National Science Foundation Grant

Published: May 9, 2019

National Science Foundation logo$283,800 grant will support the training of 15 technicians in blended applied engineering and biotechnology curricula.

Johnston Community College has been awarded a $283,880 National Science Foundation Advanced Technologies Education (NSF ATE) grant for $283,880 to train technicians in both biotechnology and applied engineering.

Supported by industry partners Grifols and Novo Nordisk, the three-year Bio Blend project aims to blend applied engineering and biotechnology curricula, create a multi-skilled talent pipeline from college to industry, and provide hands-on education in a newly constructed simulated drug manufacturing environment at the Johnston County Workforce Development Center in Clayton.

The project is in direct response to local bio-manufacturing industry needs for a multi-skilled workforce and has the potential to serve as a national model for other community colleges, said David Johnson, JCC president.

“We are thrilled to receive our first NSF grant,” Johnson said. “With strong industry support from our partners at Grifols and Novo Nordisk, this project will provide a one-of-a-kind learning environment where drug production is simulated using DeltaV industry software to control equipment. By practicing in this environment, students will gain better mechanical and aseptic technique skills.”

At the conclusion of the project, a cohort of 15 technicians will be produced and available for hire by June 2022.

Leslie Isenhour, JCC’s department chair of biotechnology programs, will serve as the principal investigator and Brian Worley, JCC’s department chair of advanced technologies programs, will serve as co-principal investigator of the grant.

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