RALEIGH, N.C. (October 11, 2022) – Wake Tech Community College and FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, a world-leading contract development and manufacturing organization with experience in the development and manufacture of recombinant biopharmaceuticals and viral gene therapies, celebrate the opening of the FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies Early College Suite in Research Triangle Park.

The new Early College Suite recently welcomed the inaugural class of 125 students in ninth and 10th grades. The students will pursue both high school and college credits in the new dual-enrollment facility focused on careers in biotechnology and information technology. The Early College Suite is expected to have annual enrollments of 75 to 100 high school students per grade level (freshman through senior) at full capacity.

“Supporting students in our community as they work toward becoming the next generation of professionals to pursue biopharmaceutical and life-science careers in our region is a passion we are incredibly proud to support and help put into action,” said Christine Vannais, chief operating officer of FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies in RTP. “We wish the inaugural Class of 2022 all the best as they immerse themselves in classes and celebrate the steps they are taking toward rewarding careers that will make a meaningful impact locally in RTP and beyond.”

Located on the Wake Tech RTP Campus, the Early College Suite houses the Wake Early College of Information and Biotechnologies in the college’s Lilly Science and Technology Center. The Wake Early College of Information and Biotechnologies, a partnership between Wake Tech and the Wake County Public School System, offers concentrations in Network Management, Computer Programming, Cybersecurity and Biotechnology. Students will graduate with a high school diploma and the potential to earn enough credits to graduate with an Associate in Applied Sciences degree. The school will eventually have up to 400 students.

“Giving back to the communities in which we operate while supporting the future biopharmaceutical and life-science leaders of tomorrow is simply in our DNA,” said Kenneth Bilenberg, vice president and site head for FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies in Holly Springs. “We wish the inaugural Class of 2022 all the best and look forward to celebrating their upward trajectory, both scholastically and professionally, in the years to come.”

As a lead partner, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies donated $200,000 to “Building Tomorrow’s Talent,” a Wake Tech Foundation program that invites life-science industry leaders to support the high-tech training their future workforce requires.

“Industry partnerships distinguish our programs and offer benefits for everyone involved,” says Roxanne Miller, senior director of development for the Wake Tech Foundation. “We’re proud to offer Building Tomorrow’s Talent as an outstanding way for companies to prepare the skilled workers they need while showcasing their expertise.”

Funds raised through Building Tomorrow’s Talent will advance the college’s biotechnology and life science programs and fill areas of critical need, including scholarships that increase access to education – especially for students in populations traditionally underrepresented in IT and biotechnology – as well as faculty training, program development and equipment and technology enhancements.

The Lilly Science and Technology Center, the second building on Wake Tech’s RTP Campus, opened for classes in 2021. In addition to the FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies Early College Suite, the facility is the home of Wake Tech’s new Biotechnology AAS degree program, the BioWork certification program, Business Analytics and industry training and collaboration space.

For more information on Building Tomorrow’s Talent, visit www.waketech.edu/RTPcampuspartners.