I have recently become involved in a non-profit genomics company, Profile Genomics, located in Alameda next to an Estuary Crossing Shuttle stop and College of Alameda. Profile Genomics is the business side of the Merritt Genomics program and is currently doing contract research work for hospitals and research labs. What is so exciting about this company is that students do the lab work and gain valuable experience while completing their educational programs. It helps address the common problem of community college students completing certificate or A.S. degree programs in biotechnology but not being able to land a job due to lack of work experience.
The contract organization idea is not new. CXO is a general term that includes Contract Research Organization (CRO), Contract Manufacturing Organization (CMO), Contract Testing Organization (CTO), and other iterations. CXOs are an innovative way for community colleges to offer students work experience while in their biotech programs. Nationwide there are several examples of successful CXOs*. Salt Lake Community College has two CXOs called InnovaBio and STUDENTfacturED. Pasadena City College went with a CXO incubator model called the Pasadena Bioscience Collaborative. CXOs are a true win-win for everyone involved. Students get paid as employees and gain work experience, college programs gain an income stream to invest in their labs and expand course offerings, and companies get projects completed that would otherwise be dropped due to cost or time concerns.
So, if you are interested in gaining experience and working with the latest in genomics technology, check out Profile Genomics and the Merritt Genomics program. Go to their websites to find out about upcoming classes and open lab times.