The Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT) partnered with Ginkgo Bioworks to develop an associate degree in biotechnology manufacturing. The program will be housed at the Nubian Square Life Science Training Center, a collaboration of organizations working to meet the demand for a well-trained and diverse life sciences workforce, with additional funding through a $100,000 grant from Kargman Family Foundation.

The training partnership between BFIT and Ginkgo Bioworks, will focus on supporting the development of critical workforce skills in the areas of biotechnology, biomanufacturing, clinical research, and bioengineering. Program graduates will be trained for a wide range of entry- and mid-level technician positions focused on operations and maintenance, positions that are in high demand throughout the life sciences field.

2020 report by the Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation shows a 67% increase in life sciences jobs in Massachusetts over the past decade. The report also projected over 109,000 life science jobs in Massachusetts by the year 2024.

“Our partnership with Ginkgo Bioworks is another example of BFIT’s nimble approach toward identifying high demand industries that require a skilled workforce and offer opportunities for sustainable career development for our graduates,” said Aisha Francis, president, and CEO of BFIT. “This new associate’s degree in biotechnology manufacturing positions our students to play a critical role in supplying a diverse and qualified workforce to fill Massachusetts’ booming life science and medical industry.”

“There is a common misconception that only those with advanced degrees are qualified for jobs in the life sciences field. It’s time for that misconception to be corrected,” said Reshma Shetty, co-founder, COO, and president of Ginkgo Bioworks. “BFIT has strong community connections and a reputation for successfully educating young people in technical careers, and Ginkgo is committed to producing the next generation of life sciences professionals. Through this partnership, we hope to create long-term career opportunities for individuals who may not have previously considered this field.”

The Nubian Square Life Science Training Center, housed at Nubian Square Ascends in the Roxbury neighborhood, will neighbor BFIT’s proposed 68,000 ft2 campus planned for the corner of Harrison Avenue and Eustis Street.