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Alvin Community College

About Alvin Community College

The Alvin Community College is an educational institute. Alvin Community College offers associate courses, technical certificates, education certificates, degrees, and distance education programs. It is based in Alvin, Texas.

Headquarters Location

3110 Mustang Road

Alvin, Texas, 77511,

United States



Latest Alvin Community College News

‘We Need A Workforce Now’: A Collaboration To Meet Houston’s Fast-Growing Biotech Demand

Sep 15, 2023

The life sciences industry is continuing to grow in the greater Houston area . But while the city is on the verge of becoming a leader  in this multitrillion-dollar industry, it faces a serious lack of biotech workers to meet demand. Biotech companies like Lonza , which initially had a smaller footprint in Houston, have experienced unprecedented expansion  in the past few years. This has led to workforce challenges like needing skilled workers to fill entry-level positions. Lonza Houston Development Services and Education Outreach Chair Maria Ruocco said that it’s not always easy to find suitable candidates for biotech companies. “As Lonza Houston's production started ramping up, it became evident that we needed more people in our production spaces,” she said. “Even with a plethora of universities and community colleges in the Houston area, the traditional curriculum wasn’t a good fit for the kind of employee that we needed in our biomanufacturing clean rooms.” Pearland Economic Development Corp. , an economic development group near Houston, is helping to fulfill this need through its 12-week biotech certification program in collaboration with Lonza and Alvin Community College. The program launched on Aug. 21, with a goal of preparing local students for entry-level biomanufacturing positions without needing an advanced degree. “With the increased workforce demand in the greater Houston region, it's became vital to create a biotech program that doesn't require six months to a year of training,” PEDC Workforce Director Mou Sarkar  said. “This program will help streamline the movement of entry-level workers to job positions at a time when having a talent pipeline is critical.” Finding solutions to these workforce challenges is a top priority for PEDC and local colleges, Sarkar said. PEDC worked with the Greater Houston Partnership and BioHouston, a nonprofit corporation focusing on growing life sciences and biotechnology in Houston, to conduct a survey identifying skills gaps in the local biotech industry. “While there are some two-to-four-year biotech programs in the region, they are only graduating a dozen students at a time, which isn’t sustainable for this biotech workforce demand,” she said. “The biotech certification program allows companies to get employees immediately on the work site that have the right skill set to perform these jobs.” When Lonza approached PEDC to find a solution for this urgent need, Sarkar knew that it was a challenge but also something that could be overcome through effective collaboration. “An initial challenge with Lonza was its stringent human resource policies to only hire candidates with degrees even for its entry-level positions, which was an obstacle that impeded its progress,” she said. “However, to the credit of the HR department, it was willing to be flexible and explore other alternatives. The company lightened some of its policies after a realistic assessment of its skills needs for entry-level workers.” Working with PEDC and ACC, Lonza helped craft a custom training program that it felt would allow potential hires to excel in their entry-level jobs. PEDC quickly coordinated several discussions among Lonza’s technical, human resources and training departments, and with ACC subject matter experts, to craft a curriculum that suits Lonza’s needs and evaluates potential employees to see if they meet the company’s standards, Sarkar said. This led to meetings with other Houston-based biotech companies like Merit Medical and Millar, who also gave their input for the final curriculum, she said. “An advisory committee meeting was attended by Lonza, Merit Medical and Millar to vet and approve the final curriculum as an applicable and acceptable short-term training pipeline for entry-level workers in biomanufacturing jobs,” she said. Sarkar thought Alvin Community College would be the ideal choice for this biotech program. Not only did PEDC have a great partnership with the institution, but ACC already had a Continuing Education Workforce Development  program. This program offers training courses for students seeking personal enrichment or to upgrade their skills to have a competitive edge in the job market. “I had a conversation with PEDC addressing some of Lonza’s pain points with meeting its workforce pipeline,” Alvin Community College Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Stacy Ebert said. “After the meeting with the Lonza team, I suggested that the company change the barrier to its entry-level positions but still have a pathway for individuals to get an associate or a bachelor's degree.” The biotech certification program features two levels, one for material handlers and the second for lab technicians. Each level involves 64 contact hours, with lectures and on-site labs. The program  aligns with  the Guidelines for the Development, Recognition and Usage of Skill Standards, a Texas framework providing policies and guidance for skill standards in its curriculum development and certification of workforce skills. “The advantage of this program is that it’s an entry-level career path for individuals who need to get a job with livable wages in an industry that continues to evolve,” Ebert said. “The first six weeks into the course allows them to be hired as a material handler, and the second part will give them skills to become an entry-level core tech.” She added that individuals who may already have a degree in this industry but can’t find work in their field of choice can use the program as a way to pivot into a new career or strengthen their résumés. Other institutions have contacted ACC about the program, which is being viewed as something that could be much more than a short-term initiative, Ebert said. “ACC is seeing interest in the Houston region with community colleges that want to start to offer this type of program and get it officially recognized as a biotech credential,” she said. “We want to develop partnerships with four-year universities like the University of Houston-Clear Lake to allow our students to go from this short-term program and eventually lead into a bachelor’s in life sciences.” “This program has the potential to create a significant and enduring impact,” said Lindsay Lawrence, manager of brand positioning and engagement at Lonza Houston. “Not only will it affect the students who participate, but our industry and local economy, and ultimately the patients who may receive life-changing treatments produced here in Pearland.” The hope is that not only will people get hired at the end of the first cohort but that the effort jump-starts a deeper biotech collaboration between EDCs, industry partners and community colleges to build workforce pipelines in Houston, Sarkar said. “We want to expand this program to other locations and possibly create a biotech incubation and training center here in Pearland for businesses to grow in the area,” Sarkar said. “We’ve also started the dialogue to help inspire other colleges to expand on this concept to fulfill workforce demand and make the Houston region a place where biotech businesses can thrive.” The next cohort launches on Jan. 18, 2024. Click here  to learn more about the Biotechnology Certificate Program at Alvin Community College. This article was produced in collaboration between  Pearland Economic Development Corp. and Studio B. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content. Studio B is Bisnow’s in-house content and design studio. To learn more about how Studio B can help your team, reach out to . Contact John Knowles at

Alvin Community College Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Where is Alvin Community College's headquarters?

    Alvin Community College's headquarters is located at 3110 Mustang Road, Alvin.



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