Grant for biotech training

The Golden Leaf Foundation is giving $60 million to North Carolina colleges and universities to train workers in biotechnology.

N.C. State University will get $36 million to build a training center, N.C. Central University will get $19.1 million for undergraduate and graduate degree programs in biotechnology, and community colleges will receive $9.4 million to recruit and train workers in local communities.

The foundation was created by court order from the national tobacco litigation involving North Carolina and 45 other states against tobacco manufacturers.

The foundation eventually will get $2.3 billion, half of North Carolina’s share of the settlement, and use it to help improve the economy in regions of the state affected by or dependent on tobacco.

Through the biotechnology initiative, the foundation will give $60 million and biotech companies will make a contribution worth $4.5 million, mostly in equipment.

“North Carolina already had positioned itself as an international center for biomanufacturing, but the potential for further growth was limited by a shortage of skilled labor,” says Sam Taylor, executive vice president of the North Carolina Biosciences Organization. “This initiative addresses that problem head on.”

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