Biomanufacturing

Recognized Skill Standards
July 9, 2013

Background

These skill standards were developed as part of a Skill Standards-Based Curriculum Development Project, in which community and technical colleges complete specific deliverables to earn $20,000 from federal Perkins state leadership funds provided by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.  The Type 2 project deliverables include developing and achieving recognition of skill standards and meeting the requirements for program recognition. The fiscal year 2013 Perkins project recipient, Austin Community College, facilitated the skill standards development process.

Development

With the participation of a statewide panel of subject matter experts, a job analysis for the Biomanufacturing occupation was conducted, starting with the Global Harmonized Biomanufacturing Skill Standards template developed by the Northeast Biomanufacturing Center and Collaborative through funding from the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education Center initiative.  A combined Austin Competency Analysis Profile and DACUM process was used to generate the work- and worker-oriented information.  This approach adhered to the criteria for an acceptable job analysis methodology, as indicated in the Guidelines for the Development, Recognition, and Usage of Skill Standards.  Austin Community College job analysts then validated the work-oriented information with a representative sample of subject matter experts from across the industry in Texas, and synthesized and organized the job analysis data into the Texas skill standards format.  The biomanufacturing industry technical advisory committee endorsed the final product, which was presented for recognition on behalf of the committee by its chair. 

The Biomanufacturing skill standards contain eight critical work functions.  Those functions include: writing documents and managing records; cleaning and maintaining the laboratory environment and equipment; preparing items for biomanufacturing activities; performing cell culture and fermentation; performing testing and data analysis; performing product purification and preparing for shipping; and providing information and training staff and customers. 

Importance to Texas

The occupational area of biomanufacturing encompasses several specialty jobs.  Those jobs include the areas of upstream and downstream manufacturing, quality control, environmental health and safety, process development, and validation. 

As a new and emerging occupation, biomanufacturing is classified as a subset of biological technician.  According to the 2012 Texas Biotechnology Industry Report from the Office of the Governor of Texas, 11 percent of the biotechnology workforce is employed in pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing.  As reported in the Biotechnology and Life Science Cluster Report (2012), there are 4,500 biotechnology firms in Texas, employing more than 108,700 direct and indirect workers, at an average salary exceeding $70,000.  Of the four sectors generally associated with the bioscience industry, two have significant amounts of manufacturing workers: drugs and pharmaceuticals; and medical devices and equipment.  Drugs and pharmaceuticals are specifically focused on biomanufacturing and in need of technicians, who average $17.51 per hour.  (Source: Texas Workforce Commission) 

Recognition

The Biomanufacturing skill standards were recognized in accordance with the Guidelines for the Development, Recognition and Usage of Skill Standards on July 9, 2013.