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Future Biotechnology Workers Meet with Industry Representatives at DU

High school and college students interested in careers in biotechnology and sciences will look into their futures, meeting with prospective employers.

A program called the 2+2+2 Biotechnology/Life Sciences Pipeline Initiative is designed to fill the gap of biotechnology and science employees in this region by encouraging students in the Pittsburgh Public Schools and McKeesport Area School District to make the life sciences their career, starting with the biotechnology program during junior and senior years in high school, continuing with life sciences during community college for two years and spending an additional two years to finish four-year degrees. Duquesne University, one of the partner schools in this program, will host an “education meets industry” event for this initiative on its campus from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25.

“The idea is to get high school students into a pipeline so they’re learning life sciences,” said Dr. Alan W. Seadler, associate academic vice president for research at Duquesne, which has been a partner in the program for about five years. “The program was established by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development because there was great concern that a number of our bright high school students were not selecting science and math as careers.”

The 2+2+2 program allows students to move smoothly between the various levels. “We wanted students to enter into a program that helps to streamline their path forward,” Seadler explained. “They can look into the future and know exactly what courses they will be taking, what the schools have to offer and what kinds of jobs are available for the successful graduate. It really is workforce development in a way that’s taking kids through the technology sector and, hopefully, supplying them as a new part of the technology workforce in universities or industry.”

Seadler will speak at the event, as well as Dr. David W. Seybert, dean of the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences at Duquesne, and Joan F. Schanck, director of Education for the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative. The tissue engineering initiative oversees the program and participates as program partner with focus on both educational workforce connections related to regenerative medicine.

Industry representatives from MEDRAD, UPMC, Precision Therapeutics and other companies, will provide overviews of their respective industries and workforce needs. Program participants will also share success stories and meet with students and teachers for networking.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
www.duq.edu