In the past three years, 23 OCCC students have received either degrees or certificates. Seven are expected to graduate this year.
The TCC program, which began in 2006, has 24 graduates to date. Another 10, including Brown, are expected to earn their credentials this year.
The Oklahoma bioscience industry is snapping up these superbly trained, highly skilled individuals as quickly as they pick up their degrees and certificates. Employers include such companies as Cytovance Biologics, PharmSci Consulting Inc., DNA Solutions Inc., Hyalose LLC, Pure Protein LLC, and Immuno-Mycologics Inc., as well as the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and the University of Oklahoma.
But TCC's Spencer notes that as the bioscience sector grows, so does the demand for capable, experienced employees.
“Current research in the biosciences using biotechnology tools is exploding,” she said. “When we produce creative bioscience problem solvers, 21st century problems can be investigated and solved.”
Brown plans to be one of those problem solvers. “The majority of significant science discoveries during the last decade have been in biotechnology,” he said. “Biotech is a growth industry and needs people like me.”
Tulsa Community College and Oklahoma City Community College are helping ensure the industry gets them.
Sheri Stickley is president & CEO of the Oklahoma Bioscience Association, www.okbio.org