Celebrating 24 Years of Service to the Local Community!

Biotech Academy Moves Students Forward

Valley Glen - - The Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC) Biotech Bridge Academy, now concluding its second cohort, continues to excel, as evidenced by the most recent graduation of 31 students.

This last group was overseen by the LAVC Job Training department, which began the program with 32 individuals, selected from over 150 who attended orientations sponsored by a Department of Labor (DOL) grant, under the leadership of Forsyth Technical College. Instruction included over 200 hours of vocational training in biotech. Of the 31 people who completed the training, all were interviewed by Baxter Healthcare for biotech positions with their company. To date (after 2 weeks), 22 have received official job offers, and it’s believed over 25 of the 31 will be placed in positions at Baxter before month’s end.

In the beginning, all individuals were recruited and co-enrolled by the City of Los Angeles WorkSource system. This is in addition to the 20 individuals who were trained and hired in March 2013. Over the last three years, Job Training has partnered with Baxter Healthcare to train over 175 people; over 85% of the individuals trained have been placed.

LAVC Job Training, in partnership with Baxter and Community Career Development, Inc. (CCD), screens for the classes weeks in advance. Using “Best Practices,” the field of applicants are narrowed to 30-40 qualified individuals, all of whom transitioned from such diverse backgrounds as retail sales, food services, and warehouse work. Additional screening input comes from the grant advisory board (which consists of Baxter managers, CCD managers, and LAVC staff), which helps determine the final makeup of the class.

After selection, the students are enrolled into the grant program and co-enrolled into Workforce Investment Act programs. Topics include “Preparing for Success,” “Critical Thinking for Biomed,” “Business Writing and Fact Checking,” as well as other contextualized vocational topics.
Funding for the program over the years has been provided by the City of Los Angeles Sector Industry High Growth Grant. Under the current DOL grant, LAVC has been selected as one of 12 community colleges nationwide to receive part of the DOL $15 million grant. Established through the DOL’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training (TAACCCT), the grant will be administered by the Job Training program in partnership with LAVC’s biology department and is part of a national effort to develop and expand bioscience workforce training.

Tony Jaramillo, the senior project coordinator and career coach for the program, believes strongly in the program and its results. "I value the relationship with Baxter because the partnership has a proven track record of continuing to improve lives throgh our workforce development program."

Baxter Healthcare develops, manufactures and markets products that save and sustain the lives of people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma, and other chronic and acute medical conditions. A global, diversified healthcare company, Baxter has approximately 48,500 employees worldwide.

Community Career Development, Inc. is the operating agency for the Wilshire-Metro and Compton WorkSource Centers. They provide a variety of services to local businesses and residents in an effort to promote local economic development.

The Graduating Class