In recognition of the importance of adding talented workers for the booming life sciences industry in South Carolina, Midlands Technical College is the first in the state to launch the all-new SCBIO Life Sciences Pharmaceutical Manufacturing certificate program. The program will help to build a workforce pipeline for positions in what is now the Palmetto State’s fastest-growing industry.
To the gratification of many but the surprise of none of the organizers, the class was completely filled within 48 hours of registration opening. The inaugural class graduated May 6, 2022.
Developed in conjunction with SCBIO, the statewide organization dedicated exclusively to advancing and growing life sciences in South Carolina, the 48-hour curriculum was developed in partnership with numerous industry partners. The certificate program is the first of several planned for rollout over the next 12 months. A similar program is nearing launch at Greenville Technical College.
Highlights of the program include an overview of the pharmaceutical industry; introduction to quality assurance principles; a regulatory overview; documentation practices and measurement skills; and 12 hours towards Essential Skills for the Workplace certificate.
“Midlands Technical College is proud to be the educational partner for this pilot program that supports the life science industry, a high growth industry in the Palmetto State. We are always interested in providing our community with the education needed to be successful in the workforce,” said Ryan Hemby, Business Solutions Director for Midlands Technical College.
Tuition for the program is covered by industry partners. People interested in registering for upcoming classes should visit https://midlandstech.formstack.com/forms/scbio.
The pilot program, the first of its kind in South Carolina offered by the Technical College System, reflects the growing demand for skilled workers to continue fueling the rapidly expanding life sciences industry, which has a presence in 42 of the state’s 46 counties, boasts a more-than-$25 billion annual economic impact, and features average wages nearly 80% higher than South Carolina’s average wage.
“Life sciences is a major driver of South Carolina’s economy today, and this new certificate program is a first step in addressing the talent needs of the industry’s surging growth, reach and rapidly rising economic significance,” noted SCBIO Executive Vice President and COO Erin Ford, a key organizer of the statewide initiative. “We’re laser focused on doing all that we can to train, retrain and encourage South Carolinians to pursue and prepare for careers in life sciences, an industry that improves quality of life and economic standing for South Carolina citizens.”
While SCBIO is focused on developing programs for the Technical College System, it also has initiatives underway with state colleges and universities, connecting students interested in careers in life sciences with industry partners seeking talent, and with K-12 students where life science career paths and awareness of STEM opportunities are shared with schools and students statewide.
Recently, Governor Henry McMaster issued a proclamation recognizing South Carolina Life Sciences Week in the Palmetto State in testament to its growth of more than 42% since 2017. Since 2017, South Carolina also is growing its life sciences industry employment at a faster rate than any other Southeastern state, Ms. Ford noted.
Even the growth of the state’s firm count is extraordinary, having grown from 402 firms counted in the Palmetto State in the 2016 study to 1,033 firms today in the rapidly expanding ecosystem. And life sciences impact the entire state, with a current presence of industry organizations in 42 of 46 state counties.