2020-2021 Innovation of the Year Award Winner: Middlesex Community College

Learn and Earn: Diversifying the Biotech Industry While Empowering Students’ Careers

The biotech industry is predominantly a nondiverse field and struggles with retaining diverse employees. Learn and Earn creates a pipeline of diverse and well-qualified candidates for entry-level positions. The biotech industry operates with 12-hour rotating shifts, which can pose challenges for students balancing work and school. To meet this challenge, the biotech program at Middlesex Community College has adapted the course schedules for biotech students so their classes align with their work shifts. Historically, the academic calendar has been rigid, but with Learn and Earn, the course schedule has been revised to meet the shift needs of the biotech industry. Learn and Earn serves as a bridge to industry for the college—not only do the students and companies benefit, but the college benefits from strengthened relationships with industry.


  • Mariluci Bladon, Professor and Chair, Biotechnology
  • Philip Sisson, Provost and Vice President, Academic and Student Affairs
  • Stefana Soitos, Director, Biotechnology
  • Kathleen Sweeney, Dean, STEM
Adwords test: