6-18-2021 – Class will show work for pharmaceuticals

Posted on: June 21st, 2021 by admin

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June 18, 2021

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By Carmen Boone cboone@newstopicnews.com

Jun 18, 2021 Updated Jun 18, 2021

 

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute is introducing a new class that will better prepare the students for jobs in the pharmaceutical industry and related fields.

 

The class, called BioWork, teaches skills for entry-level process technician jobs in bioprocess, pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing, said director for workforce development at the college, Rick Shew.

 

He said the class is one semester, 136 hours of lectures combined with lab work. Students will learn how to operate equipment and grow cells.

 

The class will teach students how to properly distill chemicals and identify them in their purest form.

 

They will also learn to operate equipment used in the workplace, how to measure length, volume, mass and pressure, and how to follow workplace safety standards.

 

All of this training, Shew said, will prepare students for the sterile and tedious process of such things as growing living cells and producing pharmaceuticals.

 

“We want to mimic everything workers do at a pharmaceutical company,” he said.

 

One part of the process, he said, that students may find challenging is maintaining the sterile process while working in the clean room. To prevent contamination of any kind, anyone in the clean room must wear a special suit that covers their body from head to toe. This is to make sure that as they move around, their own cells or clothing particles do not get stirred into and contaminate the sterile products they are working on, Shew said. Wearing that full coverage and moving at a slow rate can be a hard environment to work in.

 

“Sometimes students have a lack of understanding about the environment and the personal protection equipment that goes with it,” he said. “This experience helps them prepare for that.”

 

Two companies in the area that are looking for that kind of experience are Stallergenes Greer, which makes products to combat allergies, and Exela Pharma Sciences, which makes a variety of injectable drugs.

 

There is a shortage of skilled workers right now, said Edward Terry, the executive director for community relations at the college.

 

“There is an immense need in the local economy for these workers,” he said. “This program will help students quickly and inexpensively gain skills employers are looking for.”

 

Classes will run from Aug. 3 to Dec. 21 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

 

Anyone interested in learning more or registering can call the continuing education department at the college at 828-726-2242.

 

Reporter Carmen Boone can be reached at 828-610-8723

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