Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is releasing a new action plan to rapidly and equitably expand biotechnology and biomanufacturing education and job training programs in the United States. The action plan accompanies the second round of the Administration’s Investing in America tour, where President Biden, Vice President Harris, First Lady Jill Biden, Cabinet members, and Senior Administration Officials will visit communities benefitting from the historic levels of private sector investments mobilized by the President’s Investing in America Agenda. Since the beginning of the Biden-Harris Administration, private companies have announced $470 billion in manufacturing and clean energy investments, including in biomanufacturing.
Biomanufacturing—the use of biological systems to produce goods and services at commercial scale—is a critical aspect of advanced manufacturing that can drive new, sustainable alternatives across industries. These innovations can unlock new solutions in health, climate change, clean energy, food security, agriculture, supply chain resilience, and national and economic security. America is a global leader in biomanufacturing. The action plan will help propel continued investment in the nation’s bioeconomy and maintain America’s leadership in this sector by preparing more Americans for these jobs—many of which do not require a four-year college degree—and build a diverse pipeline that includes women, people of color, people living in rural communities, and others underrepresented in emerging fields.
Last September, as part of his Investing in America agenda, the President signed an Executive Order to ensure the United States is harnessing the full potential of biotechnology and biomanufacturing to create good-paying jobs at home, build stronger supply chains, and deliver results for the American people. Bolstering, expanding and diversifying the nation’s bioworkforce is critical to this work.
The action plan being announced today builds on the steps the Administration has already announced to strengthen America’s bioworkforce. As part of the Investing in America Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Sprint announced in May, the Administration is working with employers, unions, and other stakeholders—such as the Manufacturing USA Institutes—to expand pre-apprenticeships, Registered Apprenticeships, and career and technical education (CTE) programs at the secondary and postsecondary level for biomanufacturing occupations.
The Administration is already beginning to implement today’s action plan. This includes the following:
- The National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy, and the Department of Agriculture will take action to expand partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).
- The Department of Education will create cross-sector collaborations through the Unlocking Career Success Initiative and launch a professional learning series focused on bioworkforce needs and role of K-12 schools and postsecondary institution.
- The Department of Labor (DOL) is prioritizing advanced manufacturing—including biomanufacturing—in key grant programs, such as the State Apprenticeship Expansion Formula grant.
- The Department of Commerce (DOC) will support a National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals pilot program designed to attract high school students into biopharmaceutical manufacturing career pathways.
- NSF, in partnership with DOL, DOC, and other agencies, will convene a forum to build alignment on recognized competency models, development of new competency models where needed, and exploration of credentialing mechanisms for the bioworkforce.