Speaking to the Southern Governors Association in August 2014, former President Bill Clinton articulated his theme for economic development: “Everywhere in the world and everywhere in America where there are networks of cooperation, good things are happening.”
This spirit of cooperation has led to a community college network of collaboration in biotechnology workforce development beginning with investments by the National Science Foundation in the late 1990s.
In 1998, the NSF established BioLink, an Advanced Technology Education project hosted at the Community College of San Francisco supporting the growing biotech sector.
In 2004, the U. S. Department of Labor, building on the President’s High Growth Job Initiative in the Bush administration, funded the National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce (NCBW) at Forsyth Technical Community College. Though centered in North Carolina, the network extended to other states and cities with biotech strengths – Iowa, New Hampshire, San Diego and Seattle.