Students at Miramar College’s Southern California Biotechnology Center, which supports regional life sciences/biotechnology programs to provide highly qualified job candidates for one of San Diego’s most important industries.
More than $1.1 million in state grants are coming to San Diego Miramar College to build on the success of job-training programs that are putting people to work in the fields of biotechnology and alternative fuels.
Awards include two grants totaling $572,500 for a Miramar College-based Southern California Biotechnology Center, which for more than a decade has worked closely with the life sciences industry in sharpening the skills of teachers, students, and those already working in the field to ensure the biotechnology sector remains a thriving component of the regional economy.
Two other grants totaling $572,500 will go to the Miramar College-based Advanced Transportation and Renewable Energy program and its Advanced Transportation Technology and Energy Center, which works with community colleges statewide in developing curriculum, acquiring equipment and training instructors who are educating students and faculty about clean fuels technology and aligning resources with industry needs.
The San Diego Community College District’s Board of Trustees on June 8 voted unanimously to accept the awards that are provided through the Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy program. Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy is operated through the California Community Colleges’ Division of Economic and Workforce Development.
“San Diego Miramar College is proud to receive these grants to continue to lead the regional and statewide collaboration in both Advanced Transportation and Renewable Energy and Biotechnology with industry, community colleges, and K-12 systems to address workforce needs,” said Miramar College President Patricia Hsieh.
Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy is aimed at training workers who can quickly move into good-paying jobs and providing industry with work-ready employees who have the skills necessary to allow their companies to compete on a global scale. Nearly 900,000 Californians were working in the life sciences/biotechnology sector in 2016, an increase of 4 percent from the prior year, and earning an average annual wage of $98,286, according to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. More than 575,000 Californians were working in the advanced transportation and renewable energy sector, a 3 percent increase over the prior year, and earning an average annual wage of $48,724.
The San Diego Community College District is responsible for fueling $5.5 billion of spending annually in the regional economy, an amount equal to approximately 2.8 percent of San Diego County’s Gross Regional Product of San Diego County. The average student who secures an associate degree from the SDCCD sees an increase in earnings of $12,400 each year compared to someone with just a high school diploma or equivalent. Over a working lifetime, this increase in earnings amounts to approximately $446,400 in higher wages.