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BIOTECHNOLOGY STUDENTS COULD BENEFIT FROM $1 BILLION IN GOVERNMENT GRANTS TO INDUSTRY

GOVERNMENT GRANTS TO BIOTECH COMPANIES IN THE MARYLAND-VIRGINIA-WASHINGTON, D.C. AREA COULD HELP FUND INDUSTRY JOBS AND RESEARCH THAT MIGHT ATTRACT GRADUATES OF FORTIS COLLEGE'S BIOTECHNOLOGY PROGRAM. Tuesday, November 22, 2011 3:56 PM

November 9, 2010 -- LANDOVER, Maryland –

Ongoing job growth in biotechnology careers just received a significant boost from the U.S. government. The federal government, through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), last week announced $1 billion in grants had been awarded to U.S. biotechnology companies. 

According to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the grants will allow biotech companies to hire additional staff, improve facilities and move forward with projects that might otherwise have been put on hold. Projects at companies where current biotechnology students at the Fortis College Landover campus may find themselves working. 

“Biotechnology is an emerging, cutting-edge field with tremendous job growth and diversity and Fortis biotechnology graduates currently are working for government agencies and multi-billion dollar corporations,” said Don McMullen, president of the Fortis College Landover campus. 

“Approximately $60 million from the new grants will help fund some 200 programs in the Maryland-Virginia-Washington, DC area – exciting projects right in our own back yard at such companies as Novavax and Raland Technologies in Rockville, ImQuest Biosciences in Frederick, and Gliknik and Paragon Bioservices in Baltimore, among others,” he added. 

Overall biosciences industry employment has continued to grow, even during the recession, with some 1.5 million jobs currently filled. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), biotech jobs have been growing nearly four-and-a-half times faster than the overall national average in the private sector, with continued growth forecast through the next decade. Since 2001, real (inflation-adjusted) earnings for biosciences industry workers have increased by more than 10 percent, compared with 3.2 percent for the U.S. private sector as a whole. 

To satisfy the growing need for biotechnology professionals, Fortis College in Landover, a leading post-secondary education institution, offers an Associate’s Degree and a certificate program in Biotechnology, a form of biology that uses living organisms to improve or modify the human environment. Students learn how to set up and operate laboratory instruments and experiments, as well as assist scientists in their research.