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November 18, 2020 (CAMBRIDGE, MA) –The Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation (MassBioEd) announced it has received a grant from Bristol Myers Squibb to help launch their new Life Sciences Apprenticeship program.  The unique program is registered with the state as an apprenticeship and will use the apprenticeship model of technical education, on the job paid training and mentorship to create a new and diverse pool of skilled workers to fill the talent pipeline for Massachusetts’s life sciences industry. Combined with holistic individual support, individuals will gain industry recognized skills and work experience.

These Life Sciences Apprenticeships will provide candidates an alternative, accelerated pathway into the industry in jobs that offer career growth and family sustaining wages. Two occupations with high employer demand are targeted for the apprenticeships: Biomanufacturing Technicians and Clinical Trial Associates. MassBioEd is focused on recruiting candidates from underrepresented groups in the industry – including minorities, women, veterans – and working with unemployed individuals impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic who are seeking to make a job transition. 

“The life sciences industry continues to grow in Massachusetts and across the country.  Now more than ever, we are seeing the demand for skilled talent, but companies are struggling to find the people they need.  At the same time, thousands of capable individuals are left out of these jobs because of a lack of awareness or traditional college degrees.  Bristol Myers Squibb’s commitment to finding and building diverse talent in our local communities at a time when it is needed most is exceptional.  We are so grateful that they have committed to support us on this innovative new initiative.” Sunny Schwartz, Executive Director of MassBioEd

“Disparities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education have contributed to the widening opportunity gap and a lack of diversity in the life sciences workforce,” said Cathryn Shaw-Reid, Ph.D., vice president, U.S. biologics operations, Bristol Myers Squibb. “We are committed to discovering, developing and manufacturing medicines for patients around the world, and it’s important that our employees appropriately represent our communities and strengthen the industry with diverse perspectives and experiences. Bristol Myers Squibb is proud to work with MassBioEd as a champion of this critical program, and we look forward to supporting the progress of these inspiring participants.”

Working closely with industry, the two-year launch will start in 2021 and will train 80 individuals in the apprenticeships. Once accepted into the program, each candidate will receive 3-6 months of education and training prior to being placed in a one-year, full time, paid apprenticeship at supporting companies.

To learn more about MassBioEd’s Apprenticeship program, please contact


About the MassBioEd Foundation

The MassBioEd Foundation (MassBioEd) is a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization. Its mission is to build a sustainable life sciences workforce in the region through educational programs that engage and excite teachers, inspire and propel students, and illuminate the pathway from the classroom to career with a focus on expansion, opportunity and diversity. Learn more:

About Bristol Myers Squibb

Bristol Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol Myers Squibb, visit us at or follow us on LinkedInTwitterYouTubeFacebook and Instagram.