Job Creation, Education and Training
WORKFORCE: BioDistrict New Orleans works to provide educational training and workforce development opportunities based on the emerging jobs in our community focused on biotechnology, bioscience, and medical research and development. It is essential that we expand local employment opportunities that provide the foundation for viable careers. Some of BioDistrict New Orleans’ current workforce development projects include curriculum development, bringing together government and educational entities to expand exposure to the healthcare industry in elementary and secondary schools, writing grants to bolster research technician opportunities, and locating the new Math and Science Charter High School in the BioDistrict.
The Biotech Curriculum
BioDistrict New Orleans is completing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education that will initiate a biotechnology-specific curriculum tract into all Louisiana public and charter schools. This will plant a crucial seed that will grow potential biotech careers and sustain successful livelihoods for New Orleanians.
The Healthcare Internships
The BioDistrict staff is involved in ongoing collaboration with governmental and educational institutions to widen the variety of healthcare-related internships available to elementary and secondary school students.
The BioDistrict continually looks for new ways to strengthen the workforce pipeline—in other words, the smooth and accessible transition from secondary education, to higher education, to successful employment. In one specific effort to cement this pipeline, the BioDistrict is now leading a grant application that will link disadvantaged high-school students to lab tech certification programs at Delgado Community College, and then place individuals in high-paid research technician careers throughout the greater New Orleans area—thus facilitating viable careers in the biotechnology industry for more individuals than ever before in New Orleans. This is only the first step of many that the BioDistrict will take to encourage the growth of high-paying, stable jobs for all New Orleans residents.
The Workforce Study
The BioDistrict is collaborating with the New Orleans BioInnovation Center to complete a comprehensive, regional biosciences and healthcare workforce study, which quantifies jobs and the educational programs required to fill them, as well as identifying gaps and recommending new training, internship programs and related needs in curriculum. The completed study will be available in the fall of 2010, and will be available for download on our Resources page.
BioDistrict New Orleans is providing the New Orleans Charter Math and Science High School, also called “Sci-High,” a permanent new location within the District, adjacent to hospitals and institutes of higher learning.