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Published on Mar 13, 2008
Employers looking for new hires with experience reaching beyond the classroom need to look no further than NC State, where biotechnology students have a significant advantage thanks to hands-on training at the Golden Leaf BTEC.
Located on Centennial Campus, the Golden Leaf Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC) is the largest facility of its kind in the nation and the state's hub of biomanufacturing research and training. Through partnerships between NC State, North Carolina Central University and the North Carolina Community College system, BTEC's distance education and on-site programs will train as many as 2,000 students, prospective and current employees per year.
"The center will be a major new force for statewide economic development and job creation in the biomanufacturing, pharmaceutical and related agricultural industries," NC State chancellor James L. Oblinger said. "Through partnerships with industry, other academic institutions and with support from Golden LEAF, we're creating a tremendous opportunity for North Carolina to lead the world in biomanufacturing."
The Golden LEAF BTEC trains workers by simulating a biomanufacturing pilot plant facility capable of producing biopharmaceutical products and packaging them in a sterile environment. It also includes support training and education classrooms, laboratories, building and process utilities.
North Carolina ranks among the top three biotechnology regions in the United States and is home to some of the world's largest companies, including Novozymes, Wyeth Vaccines, Biogen-Idec and Merck. The BTEC facility will be outfitted so that students will gain experience using the same large-scale equipment they would use on the job at any of these companies.
"NC State's legacy is one of listening and responding to the needs of North Carolina," Oblinger said. "BTEC is a perfect example. This type of education and training exists nowhere else in the country at this scale and should serve as a magnet for new business expansions and relocations by this critical sector for our state's economy."