Los Angeles Mission College Prof. Chander Arora Awarded $500K NSF Grant for New Biotech Program
Indian American Prof. Chander Arora of Los Angeles Mission College. (lamission.edu photo)
India-West Staff Reporter
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C., has awarded Indian American Professor Dr. Chander Arora and the Los Angeles Mission College with a $509,000 Advanced Technological Education grant to help increase the number of qualified biotechnology workers and establish educational pathways for adult learners returning to school.
The grant would seek to increase the number and quality of skilled biotechnology workers to fill the regional workforce demand and establish classroom-to-career pathways for adults who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Arora, director of the Biotech Program and a Life Sciences faculty member.
“We will implement two major programs to achieve this goal,” Arora said, according to a press release. “We’ll create the Bridge to Biotech workshop to help prepare prospective students for the Biotech program, and the Bridge to Employment workshop to help them find a job after completing their semester-long Biotech Lab Technician Certificate.”
Dexter Williams, a biotech student, was recently hired by Pharmavite after completing his first semester in the Biotech Program. He said the job will give him work experience while he continues completing his Lab Technician Certificate under this NSF award.
“Life comes with many opportunities and endless choices,” Williams said. “Joining the LA Mission College’s Biotech Program was one of my better choices yet. This is not just a program; it is an experience – a life changing one.”
The NSF grant will focus on two pressing needs: the industry demand for biotech lab assistants and technicians, and the need of individuals who lost their jobs during COVID-19 and will enable them to find new, sustainable employment.