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SD Biofuel Industry Recruits Workers With Free Job Training

Aired 11/25/11 on KPBS News.

A free job training program in San Diego provides education to adults who want a new or improved career in the Biofuel industry.

— EDGE is a six month intensive job training and education program offered through UCSD extension, BioCom, Mira Costa College and local Biotech companies.

Its aim is to create a skilled workforce to feed the growing demands of San Diego and Imperial Valley’s expanding Biofuel industry.

Hugo Villar, director of science and technology at UC San Diego Extension said all levels of employees, including business managers are in demand at local Biofuel companies.

“The biofuel industry has been growing so fast in the San Diego area that there is a shortage of qualified people. It’s a trend that could get worse with time,” explained Villar.

EDGE is also called The Industrial Biotech Immersion Program. It offers courses that range from entry level lab technician to a Masters of Advanced Science.

Currently there are 55 available spots for the 2012 program, which starts in March. Every student’s tuition is fully paid by a grant from California’s Labor Department.

Villar called the application process highly competitive and advised applicants to prepare with a basic science course.

“It’s best if the professionals that apply for the biofuel certificate classes have some chemistry or biology knowledge before starting the program. UCSD extension offers those courses, but they should be taken before applying to the program,” said Villar.

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