CCWA's Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Program: FastForward Approved

Jun 12, 2023 | News Pharmaceutical Manufacturing


CCWA was recently approved by the State Board of Community Colleges to offer a FastForward pharmaceutical manufacturing industry credential to prepare job seekers for employment opportunities coming to the region. The inaugural class of this credentialing program begins June 13 at the Chester Campus of Brightpoint Community College.

Developed in partnership with the Virginia Manufacturers’ Association (VMA) as well as local companies Civica and AMPAC Fine Chemicals, the program will prepare students to earn three industry credentials: Chemistry Manufacturing (ChemMT), Manufacturing Specialist (MS) and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing (PharmaMT). The course, created by Manufacturing Skills Institute (MSI) - the workforce development division of the VMA, will teach students the unique manufacturing processes and equipment knowledge required to work successfully in pharmaceutical and chemical facilities. This course can be completed in approximately four months.

“These certifications are portable and stackable industry credentials that demonstrate to employers that an individual has an understanding of modern pharmaceutical manufacturing and attained mastery of industry-wide critical technical skills,” said Dr. Victor Gray, Executive Director of MSI.

There is regional and national support of Brightpoint and CCWA’s work to create degree and training programs to support a workforce for the emerging pharmaceutical manufacturing industry in the Greater Richmond MSA. Last fall, the Alliance for Building Better Medicines secured $111 million over three months for U.S.-based manufacturing of essential medicines through grants and state, regional and local funds. The largest single source of that funding, the Build Back Better Regional Challenge provided the Alliance for Building Better Medicines with close to $53 million in grant funding to rebuild regional economies, promote inclusive and equitable economic recovery, and create hundreds of good-paying jobs.

“The support of the Alliance for Building Better Medicines and members such as Civica, AMPAC, and Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) cannot be overstated in the development of the new PharmaMT program,” explained Elizabeth Creamer, Vice President, CCWA. “From technical advice to fiscal support in the development and then testing the new credential, the Alliance made possible this first-of-its-kind FastForward workforce credential. We also are very grateful to have had MSI partnering with us.”

The PharmaMT courses will meet in-person, but there will also be an option for students to attend lectures virtually via Zoom. Hands-on labs and tests will be administered onsite. Grants and other scholarships are available for those who are interested.

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