Tag Archives: workforce

Bioworks Awarded $8M Job Training and Placement Grant

On October 15, 2014, Memphis Bioworks was awarded an $8 million grant by the U.S. Department of Labor to lead an initiative to train and place long-term unemployed and underemployed Mid-South residents into bioscience and information technology jobs.

This initiative is in development, and more information will be available soon.  In the meantime, you can sign up here to be notified when more information about these training programs is available.  

The announcement from Congressman Cohen’s office is below, and you can read the Department of Labor announcement about its Ready to Work Partnership grants here.


Contact: Ben Gash Garmisa (Rep. Cohen)
Jessica Taveau (Memphis Bioworks Foundation)

October 15, 2014


Cohen: New $8 Million Job Training & Placement Partnership Will Help Nearly 1,000 Unemployed Memphians Find Jobs

Memphis Bioworks Foundation will lead Southern Education and Training Consortium’s new Bio/IT program focused on job training and placement for long-term unemployed

[MEMPHIS, TN] – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today announced a new $8,083,138 federal grant to help 960 long-term unemployed citizens in the Memphis metropolitan area find good paying jobs in high-skills industries. This funding will help the Memphis Bioworks Foundation lead the Southern Education and Training Consortium’s new Bio/IT program, a multi-state partnership that will offer advanced job training, coaching, and other services leading to direct job placement in bioscience and information technology (IT) positions that otherwise would likely be filled by high-skilled immigrants.

“While recent indicators show signs of recovery in our nation’s economy, too many Memphians are still struggling to find decent jobs,” said Congressman Cohen. “This influx of federal funding will help provide almost 1,000 Memphians with the skills and training they need to fill good-paying, 21st century jobs in the Mid-South, and it will go an extra step to help identify and place them in those jobs. With the Memphis Bioworks’ proven track record of success, I am confident that this funding will be put to good use providing opportunities to our city’s long-term unemployed.”

“We are pleased to once again play a key role in serving local workforce training and job placement needs in the areas of bioscience and information technology,” said Memphis Bioworks Foundation President and Executive Director Steven Bares, PhD. “This grant allows Memphis Bioworks to build on demonstrated successes in leading multi-partner collaborations to train and place local residents in jobs that are in demand and in emerging fields.”

Since 2010, Memphis Bioworks’ workforce development efforts have resulted in more than 450 local residents being placed in jobs, 550 residents receiving degrees or credentials, and 900 residents receiving job and career training. The Southern Education Training Consortium Bio/IT program is a partnership between Memphis Bioworks, SeedCo, Southwest Tennessee Community College, the University of Memphis’ Bioinformatics Graduate Program, and other non-profits and educational facilities in the Tri-State area. This new Bio/IT program will be administered by Memphis Bioworks Workforce Development Director Pauline Vernon and her team. It will serve Tennessee’s Shelby, Fayette, and Tipton Counties; Mississippi’s Marshall, Tate, and Tunica Counties; and Crittenden County in Arkansas.

Memphis Bioworks is the Mid-South’s go-to organization for creating companies, jobs and investments in bioscience and sustainability. A visionary community leader, Memphis Bioworks has a well-established record of sparking new levels of economic vitality by investing in entrepreneurs, building state-of-the-art labs and facilities, and training the next generation of workers.

This grant is part of more than $169 million awarded today through the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Ready to Work Partnership initiative, which aims to support and scale innovative collaborations between employers, nonprofit organizations and federal job training programs to help connect ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs. For information about the Ready to Work program, please visit: http://www.doleta.gov/readytowork/.