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The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) has selected 44 college freshmen and sophomores nationwide to participate in the 2023 NIIMBL eXperience career program, including 14 who are part of a cohort at Raritan Valley Community College.

This is the most students ever selected to participate in NIIMBL’s program, which aims to increase the diversity of the school-to-industry pipeline and to build a workforce that supports and leads in innovation. Students were selected from 34 educational institutions to attend the weeklong program at one of three cohorts: RVCC in Branchburg, the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS) in New York, and Kansas Bioscience Association (BioKansas) in the Kansas/Missouri Region.

“Raritan Valley Community College is excited to be selected as a cohort for this summer’s NIIMBL eXperience, which will offer us the opportunity to introduce a group of college students to various aspects of the life science industry,” said Jacki Belin, RVCC vice president for Strategic Partnerships & Workforce Innovation.

The NIIMBL eXperience takes place at Raritan Valley Community College from June 10-16. Students from diverse backgrounds will have the opportunity to explore careers in biopharmaceutical manufacturing through a series of industry tours, networking events, and one-on-one coaching sessions. There is no cost to participate in the program. Students are housed in a nearby hotel and transportation is provided for multiple off-campus experiences, as well as a $500 stipend.

RVCC was awarded a $75,000 grant from NIIMBL to create the weeklong program, which is designed to introduce students to career options in the biomanufacturing or the life sciences; build self-confidence in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education; and provide networking opportunities with industry professionals.

Windy Paz-Amor, RVCC’s director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), will develop and conduct workshops designed to engage and enlighten students about DEI issues.

The NIIMBL eXperience project was developed with an award from the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) and financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology.