MC Biotech Boot Camp Returns to Montgomery College

Montgomery College’s Biotech Boot Camp returns for the second year to provide training for future employees of the rapidly-growing life sciences industry across the area and the state.

The Boot Camp will be held at the college’s Germantown campus. The program runs from Dec. 12-22 and Jan. 9 through 20. The Boot Camp will be held from 5-9 pm each day.

MC Biotech’s Boot Camp provides training for people who are looking to break into the state’s life sciences ecosystem, whether they are looking to start or change their career paths. The Boot Camp offers 64 hours of training through lectures and hands-on laboratory activities.

But, beyond the industry-focused training, the Boot Camp also provides participants guidance on finding a job that will utilize their newfound skills. The program includes a resume writing/interview preparation workshop that will bolster chances of finding employment. In addition, those who complete the Boot Camp will have their resumes shared with some of the industry’s biggest companies that call Montgomery County home. Participating area biotech companies include Millipore Sigma, AstraZeneca, Quality Biological, and ORIGene.

MC Biotech explains that the Biotech Boot Camp offers important training for under and unemployed workers that provides the necessary hands-on skills to fill laboratory positions with cutting-edge companies.

“These prospects are a win-win-win as the employer gains the necessary workforce and the Boot Camp graduates are presented with possible interview opportunities to secure a job, thereby promoting a sustainable workforce and job growth for the biotech industry in the county,” said Dr. Meena Chandok, Biotechnology Program Director, BioTrain at Montgomery College.

Montgomery County is a key lynchpin in the state’s life sciences ecosystem. The county is home to 18 federal agencies, nearly three dozen federal laboratories, and more than 300 life science companies, including MaxCyte, Adaptive Phage Therapeutics, REGENXBIO, and more. And more could join the ranks of the county’s employers, particularly as Maryland’s biotech leadership continues to push for a top three ranking of biotech hubs in the United States.

Earlier this year, Pete Briskman, Executive Managing Director and Co-Lead for JLL’s Mid-Atlantic Life Sciences Practice, told BioBuzz the “right fundamentals are in place as well as the right structure. When those two aspects come together it increases the probability of growth.” In the same breath, Briskman said training needs for skilled manufacturing employees remained a key need to achieve that goal. Briskman said the BioHealth Capital Region leads the nation in PhDs per capita but there is an increasing need for employees who can provide critical supportive roles companies need to grow and thrive. Briskman said training will become a key asset for both companies and university programs.

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The MC Biotech Boot Camp, sponsored by a State of Maryland EARN grant and WorkSource Montgomery incentive to employers, comes at a time Maryland is eyeing the addition of tens of thousands of new jobs in the life sciences sector over the next several years. The majority of the roles will not require advanced degrees in science. Beyond manufacturing, other non-scientific jobs will be in demand, including administrative and business roles.

An application process for the Boot Camp can be found here. The MC Biotech Boot Camp is free to applicants thanks to funding from the State of Maryland EARN grant. MC Biotech also offers a degree and certificates in Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing, and advanced training through Bio-Trac.  

In Montgomery County, an additional 800,000 square feet of lab space is expected to come online over the next several years. And the new space will require an expanded headcount to reflect the increasing need of life sciences companies in the country. The kind of skills that will be required to fill these positions will be gained through the Boot Camp’s training program.