Alamance Community College has been awarded a $1.1 million federal grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to help purchase high-tech equipment that will provide crucial training for students and workers in biotechnology-related programs.
The equipment to be purchased will be used to train not only ACC science students, but current workers in the medical, healthcare, and bio agriculture industries. It will expand the College’s current efforts to help the healthcare industry fight the coronavirus pandemic and any future health crises.
Valued at $1,155,834, the advanced training equipment will ultimately be housed in the Biotechnology Center of Excellence, a $17.4 million facility scheduled to begin construction this month and open in fall 2022. The purchase includes ten items of highly-advanced equipment.
While the federal grant funds are an important donation, ACC President Dr. Algie Gatewood emphasized that the total equipment needs are estimated at approximately $5 million. “We welcome gifts for this excellent facility from all our community partners because their contributions will enhance the important training that will happen inside those walls,” said Gatewood.
The EDA-funded equipment and subsequent training will generate a significant number of new high-paying jobs and encourage private investment. The project will also focus on expanding workforce opportunities, economic mobility, and resilient economies within the Alamance County region.
Area healthcare organizations will have access to the equipment to provide ongoing training for employees. The new equipment procured through the grant will better prepare Alamance County workers to be more resilient and well-equipped for emerging markets in the health care, medical testing, agriculture, and biomanufacturing industries.
The equipment will bolster educational opportunities for students in Biotechnology, Histotechnology, Medical Laboratory Technology, and Agricultural-Biotechnology. The College’s Agricultural-Biotechnology program, for example, will benefit by adding important equipment to its lab and farm facilities, leading to collaborative training and research projects with companies in the food production industry.
With the purchase of this critical training equipment, the medical testing, health care, and agriculture industries will see increased opportunities to prosper. Labcorp, a leading global life sciences company and major employer in Alamance County, and Cone Health Alamance Regional Medical Center in Burlington have each committed to creating new high-wage and high-skilled jobs in support of the EDA grant.
Said ACC President Gatewood: “The grant we received from the Economic Development Administration is such an important and crucial gift in the college because it will make a difference in our training methodology for not only our students who are embarking on high-paying science and healthcare careers, but for our industry partners. The reason behind every square inch of this new facility, and the technical equipment to be installed, all comes down to addressing the issues of workforce and economic development in Alamance County. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that our community college is working hand-in-hand with Lapcorp, ARMC, and so many others to ensure that their workers, as well as our graduates, are some of the best-trained in the nation.”