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Press Release

BioConnects New England and Southern Maine Community College, Central Maine Community College Announce Partnership

By March 29, 2022No Comments

BioConnects New England (BCNE) and Southern Maine Community College (SMCC)Central Maine Community College (CMCC), and other colleges within the Maine Community College System are excited to announce a partnership to create a robust biomanufacturing industry cluster in the New England region.

With this partnership, BioConnects New England and SMCC, CMCC, and the Maine Community College System aim to promote the growth and sustainability of the life sciences industry in New England by fostering collaboration in education.  Additionally, SMCC and CMCC will lead the Maine Community College System in the development, delivery, and evaluation of an “on-ramp” customized educational training program for 216 individuals for careers in biotech in Maine, expand biotech offerings by outfitting and equipping biotech/science labs at both SMCC and CMCC, offer qualified students an attendance stipend to attend and complete the program, leverage existing staff and faculty to provide wrap-around services for students such as tutoring, contextualized language support, career counseling, and guidance, align students with local biotech industry partners for work experience, internships, and jobs, and coordinate a statewide information campaign about biotechnology.

“Our coalition is focusing on creating a talent pipeline by leveraging resources at community colleges for retraining programs to support biomanufacturing jobs,” said Jared Auclair, Ph.D., an associate dean at Northeastern University and director of their Biopharmaceutical Analysis Training Lab and co-lead of BioConnects New England.  “We appreciate the commitment of Southern Maine Community College, Central Maine Community College, and the Maine Community College System in partnering with us to advance these efforts.”

“We look forward to working with BioConnects New England to provide additional opportunities for our students in STEM careers and expand the biotech workforce in the state,” added James Whitten, dean of workforce development and Midcoast Campus at Southern Maine Community College.

Through its grant challenge sponsored by the Economic Development Administration, BioConnects New England is leveraging its resources in the region to create a robust biomanufacturing industry. Massachusetts-based Northeastern University leads the coalition, which includes The Biopharmaceutical Analysis Training Laboratory at Northeastern University, The Roux Institute at Northeastern University in Portland, Maine, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, -the I-195 Design & Innovation District in Providence, Rhode Island, the University of Rhode Island, and FocusMaine. The coalition will lead K-12 education and engagement activities, -jumpstart prototyping and incubation facilities throughout the region, and invest in accessible start-up entrepreneurship programming.


BioConnects New England is a multi-state coalition and finalist of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge—a $1 billion program sponsored by the Economic Development Administration. Through this initiative, BioConnects New England will create a biomanufacturing cluster in the region of Massachusetts, Maine, and Rhode Island that have been historically excluded from the biotechnology industry, one of the fastest-growing sectors in New England with national importance. This coalition will connect hubs throughout New England to support existing—and establish new—biomanufacturing infrastructure as a pathway to increase employment and educational opportunities for underserved regions and populations.


Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) is Maine’s largest and oldest community college. Founded in 1946, SMCC offers courses at its South Portland, Brunswick and Online campuses and at community satellite locations. SMCC has among the lowest tuition and fees in New England and offers buildable educational and transferable training opportunities ranging from short-term workforce training and career skills courses to more than 40 academic degree and certificate programs.  For more information, please contact James Whitten at


Central Maine Community College provides quality, accessible college education and lifelong learning opportunities by offering career and technical education, education for transfer to the baccalaureate level, and services to support economic development and community vitality.  For more information, please contact Tobby Bragdon at