Biotech Partners is actively addressing California’s and the nation’s critical need to develop a more diverse STEM workforce and we’re extremely fortunate to have a program of this caliber in our state.
-- Jack O’Connell, former California State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Established in California’s Bay Area in 1993 by Bayer HealthCare and the City of Berkeley, Biotech Partners targets disadvantaged students from underrepresented groups and, through a program of hands-on, in-school curriculum combined with real-world lab experience, prepares them for challenging careers in the bioscience field.
Since its inception, Biotech Partners has focused on helping youth successfully navigate the world of work, school and life while specifically training them for technical positions in bioscience, a growing industry that offers well-paid jobs and real opportunities for career advancement and continued education. Biotech Partners supports 110 to 125 students annually. In its more than 20 years, the nonprofit has taught life sciences to more than 2,000 students.
Biotech Partners currently partners with the Berkeley and Oakland Unified School Districts, Contra Costa & Alameda Counties Regional Occupational Programs and the Peralta Community College District. Biotech Partners has Biotech Academies at Berkeley High School and Oakland Technical High School. Completion of the academy program, which includes a community college component, leads to a Certificate of Achievement in Bioscience.
Biotech Partners’ paid summer internships for high school students and year-long, paid co-op jobs for community college allows students to walk through a door that otherwise would not have been accessible to them. About 1,000 students have interned at Bay Area biotech companies.
The program is now featured in a U.S. Department of Labor study as an exemplary model of consistently successful school-to-career partnerships.
The following are some of the more than 35 companies and organizations that have provided paid internships and co-op jobs for our participants; they have also hired Biotech Partners graduates.
The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against CTEq's Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.
Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.
Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.
Ensure work is sustainable.
Demonstrate replicability and scalability.
Create high impact partnerships
Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.
Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience
Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.
Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.
Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.