Community College to Focus Efforts on Supporting Education, Training, and Entrepreneurship in the Local Bio-science Community

Published Friday, August 22, 2008


JUPITER, FLORIDA, August 22, 2008 - In a unanimous vote Wednesday evening, the Jupiter Town Council approved the first appropriation of its $3 million Economic Development Fund to Palm Beach Community College (PBCC).

The vote supported a recommendation by the Town's Economic Advisory Board to provide up to $73,000 in funding to PBCC's Biotechnology Program for training and education of the local workforce, incubation of local entrepreneurial efforts, and an overall leveraging of the existing and growing local life sciences industry.

Proposed by Dr. Libby Handel, Director of Biotechnology Programs at PBCC, the funding program would support the following specific components:

Workforce Education and Training: A Workforce Development Curriculum Specialist will create programs based on needs identified by the local bioscience companies focused on industry-specific skills. Internships will offer applied learning by placing students in real-world bioscience workplace settings at local companies.

Entrepreneurial Development and Assistance: Leveraging the newly-completed, 92,000 square-foot bioscience complex at PBCC, these programs will focus on the "pre-incubator" segment of the local bioscience industry. By offering fully-equipped lab space and access to technology, PBCC will assist scientists and early-stage companies in performing proof-of-concept experiments in order to attract funding.

The Town of Jupiter's Economic Development Fund will contribute $27,000 toward the development of a workforce education curriculum, up to $16,000 in matching funds for internships, and $30,000 toward entrepreneurial development and assistance.

In 2006, shortly after the announcement that the Scripps Research Institute would establish a Florida location in Jupiter, the Town of Jupiter established a $3 million Economic Development Fund in support of local life science and technology industry development. In 2007, an Economic Development Fund Advisory Board made up of local industry leaders and experts was established to develop funding criteria and assess applications from local businesses and organizations.

For more information on the Town of Jupiter and its Economic Development Fund and Advisory Board, see www.jupiter.fl.us/biotech or call or email Kate Moretto at 561.741.2575 or katem@jupiter.fl.us.