Submitted by Gary Erwin
Henry Ford Community College’s biotechnology program recently received a grant of $100,000 from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. This grant will help HFCC develop a collaborative nanotechnology and microsystems technician training program.
Additionally, this grant represents a partnership between HFCC’s biotechnology program, the University of Michigan Lurie Nanofabrication Facility, the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) and the Southwest Center for Microsystem Education (SCME). This partnership will help make nanotechnology and microsystems training available for community college students.
HFCC established its biotechnology program in 2009. The program prepares students for jobs in the growing industries of the biotechnology field. This grant will allow HFCC’s program to implement nanotechnology and microsystems training, thereby providing students with additional career opportunities.
“Many HFCC students are also considered ‘non-traditional’ because they are attending college for re-training after having lost their jobs due to the current economic climate in Michigan. This grant provides these students with additional skills that would allow them to return to the workforce and support the growth of nanotechnology-based industries in the region,” said Dr. Jolie Stepaniak, HFCC’s biotechnology program director.
Additionally, this grant makes the substantial resources of U-M’s Lurie Nanofabrication Facility available to students. It also enlists the expertise of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network and SCME in developing curriculum in nanotechnology and microsystems courses and training HFCC’s Biotechnology faculty.
“We are excited about this tremendous opportunity to partner with a highly successful program to create new pathways for HFCC students. Our facility has a rich history of supporting cutting-edge research and development of innovative technologies, which has led to the launch of successful startup companies," said Brandon Lucas, National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network education coordinator at U-M.
"By training students to work in an environment focused on innovation, we are confident that they will gain the core knowledge and skills required to secure employment in a variety of industries. Additionally, this partnership will help create the necessary talent pool of technicians that will better position our new startups to thrive and create new jobs in Michigan," he said.