[Press Release] GMGI Awarded $940K Workforce Skills Capital Grant to Train Gloucester Biotechnology Academy Students in Biomanufacturing

(GLOUCESTER, MA) Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute (GMGI) has received $940K through the Massachusetts Workforce Skills Capital Grant Program. The announcement was made on February 25, 2020 by Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito who were at GMGI’s institute on the harbor, along with members of the Workforce Skills Cabinet, to announce the awardees of the Workforce Skill Capital grants. $14.6 million in Skills Capital Grant awards were given to 54 educational institutions to update equipment and expand student enrollment in programs that provide career education. Multiple other organizations, including Northern Essex Community College and Danvers High School, were in attendance to receive their award.

Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute was one of four institutions that received a multi-year award, marking the first time the Baker-Polito Administration awarded multi-year grants. “Skills Capital Grants help preserve the Commonwealth’s talent pipeline by funding expanded enrollment and equipment upgrades at educational institutions to provide more students with in-demand skills sought by employers,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The inaugural multi-year grants offered this round will also increase flexibility and support for institutions launching new programs, allowing more students to develop important technical skills.”

GMGI’s grant will be used to build a new lab and classroom, and purchase biomanufacturing equipment on which Academy students will be trained for careers in this vibrant life sciences sector. It will allow the Academy team to create a space and experience that accurately represents life sciences biomanufacturing environments where students may ultimately pursue careers.

“This award is a great endorsement of our workforce training program and what we’ve accomplished since Gloucester Biotechnology Academy was launched,” said John Doyle, GMGI Education Director. “The addition of biomanufacturing to our proprietary curriculum may add a month to our academic year, but it brings a whole new, in demand skill set to our future graduates.”

Christine Bolzan, GMGI’s COO, said “We now have a clear path to doubling the size of our Gloucester Biotechnology Academy program. What’s more, we will train a skilled biomanufacturing workforce that will help fill a regional need and fuel economic development.”

The award requires a $313k cash match and GMGI has secured corporate support from New England Biolabs and BioMed Realty, as well as in-kind design support from Payette. “We are optimistic that we can continue our success in attracting financial support for our Academy,” said Michele May, GMGI Board Chair. “We have engaged donors that embrace our mission and respect our culture of accountability and accomplishment. We hope to expand our donor community because of this exciting new Academy program.”