BFIT Students Receive Grant Support from the Metro Boston Skilled Careers in the Life Sciences (SCILS) Initiative

Boston, MA—The Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT) is pleased to announce nearly $30,000 in grant support for seven students currently enrolled in the Health Information Technology Bachelor of Science program (6 students) and the Biomedical Engineering Technology Associate’s Degree program (1 student) . The grants of $4,000 will help students pay for tuition, books and material fees. The Skilled Careers in Life Sciences (SCILS) Initiative is led in partnership by Mayor Walsh’s Office of Jobs and Community Services and the Boston Private Industry Council.

The SCILS Initiative is part of the city’s response to the growing life sciences sector in Massachusetts. By 2016, employment in this sector is projected to grow by 15.5%, the equivalent of 12,000 jobs. The SCILS Initiative aims to respond to this projected growth by investing in the region’s life sciences workforce and achieving systems-level improvements in the ability of the region’s workforce development agencies to work with the life sciences sector serving both individuals and businesses.

With the goal of training and placing unemployed and under-employed MA residents in jobs within the life sciences, improving the capacity for life sciences career counseling in the region’s One Stop Career Centers, and developing greater life science sector collaboration around workforce issues, the SCILS Initiative will play a vital part in this growing sector of the Massachusetts economy. Susan Buckey, SCILS Project Manager, states that the grant support from this initiative will help train over 360 individuals and place 300 interns in workforce settings.

BFIT introduced the Bachelor and Associate Degree Programs in Health Information Technology (HIT) in response to the growing demand for individuals with the right combination of information technology skills and knowledge of healthcare language and clinical practices. The HIT field encompasses a range of positions that involve the development, implementation, and maintenance of computerized health information systems. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in this field is predicted to grow faster than the average for all occupations with a 22% increase through 2020. With the goal of enhancing the quality of patient care and reduce costs, these systems are needed to enable the digitization, storage, and the secure exchange of health information amongst various clinicians across networks and web services within hospitals and other healthcare settings. The Biomedical Engineering Technology program trains graduates in the calibration, maintenance, and repair of electronic medical instruments used by physicians for vital patient care. Students in the Biomedical Engineering Technology program take courses at Boston area hospitals and put their knowledge to use during an internship in their last semester.

About the SCILS Initiative
The SCILS Initiative is a $5 million, 4 year H1B Technical Skills Training grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to invest in the life science workforce in the Metro Boston area. SCILS is designed to improve career opportunities for residents of the Metro Boston area and to provide a more highly trained workforce for the region's healthcare and biotechnology sectors. The initiative will target specific occupations within the field and support occupational training at colleges and universities; on-the-job learning (internships) at local businesses in these sectors; and the recruitment, career guidance, and placements of eligible participants into the workforce once their training is complete.

To learn more about the programs in Health Information Technology, click HERE.

To learn more about the program in Biomedical Engineering Technology, click HERE.