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Maryland Tech Council Welcomes New Training Manager

By Alex Keown

Joshua Hett is excited to take the reins as the new Bioprocessing Training Manager at BioHub Maryland to help train future life sciences employees in Maryland.

As a former public school teacher turned life sciences trainer, Hett is excited to provide new opportunities for people without an advanced degree in the sciences to break into the life sciences industry. People don’t need years of science education to start a career in biomanufacturing.

“All you need is a drive and willingness to learn. I’m an example of someone who transferred into the industry and now I use the skills I learned to help grow minds,” Hett says. “It’s worth the risk to step outside of your comfort zone.”

BioHub Maryland is a workforce development initiative of the Maryland Tech Council. Its goal is to provide high school graduates, people from disadvantaged communities, and veterans with the technical skills and training that will allow them to find employment in Maryland’s life sciences ecosystem. One out of every three life sciences job postings in Maryland do not require an undergraduate degree and tend to pay wages higher than the state average, which makes the life sciences an ideal career path.  

“The life sciences industry offers rewarding and high-paying career opportunities for people regardless of their educational background,” Hett says. “I’m excited about the opportunity to show people what BioHub Maryland offers, the value we add to the ecosystem and to help people find transformative employment in the life sciences.”

Hett began his career teaching math in middle schools and high schools. Due to his wife’s role at Catalent, the Hetts moved from post to post across the country, which allowed Hett to work in multiple districts and teach different age groups of children. After his wife transferred to Maryland, Hett switched careers and joined the biopharma industry as a trainer at Catalent, which was recently acquired by Novo Nordisk. Many of the skills he used in his role as a math teacher were transferrable to the training rooms at Catalent. He estimates there were approximately 20 new hires for biomanufacturing roles every two weeks and Hett was there to train them. Hett rose to the role of senior manager of technical training for manufacturing and quality control.

“I love teaching and transferring information. Once you know how to teach, you can teach anything. That’s a powerful thing, to give someone a skill that will last them a lifetime,” Hett says. 

While at Catalent, Hett helped the company establish its cell & gene therapy training facility in Baltimore that provides hands-on real-world simulation programs for its manufacturing employees. Hett helped plan the facility’s function so it would fit the company’s needs and be conducive to the learning process.

Following Catalent’s acquisition, Hett joined BioHub Maryland. He saw what the Maryland Tech Council-supported program was trying to do and wanted to use his talents to support the training goal.

BioHub Maryland uses the world-renowned curriculum from the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training. NIBRT is an Ireland-based company that developed a multifaceted training approach to bioprocessing. Hett says it’s a “robust curriculum” that can be adapted to serve BioHub Maryland’s training needs. BioHub Maryland has exclusive licensing to the NIBRT curriculum within Maryland, DC, and Virginia.

“It has a bit of everything for manufacturing and quality control,” Hett says.

Throughout his career, Hett has worked across the United States, including in top-tier biopharma hubs such as Boston, San Francisco, and in Southern California. He touts Maryland as one of the best places for life sciences companies.

“There’s only a few hubs like this in the United States. If you want to be in the industry and do what we’re doing, you need to be in one of these locations. You have to be where the action is,” he says.

Learn more about BioHub Maryland

Maryland Tech Council Updates

Registration Now Open for the 2024 Bio Innovation Conference!

The Maryland Tech Council is thrilled to open registration for the 2024 Bio Innovation Conference at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center on October 10. This also includes the opening of exhibitor registration, allowing you a quick and easy way to become an exhibitor and spotlight your organization to leading life sciences companies and professionals. As the premier life sciences conference in the Mid-Atlantic region, this conference showcases Maryland's global leadership in innovation.

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