Marlborough, MA – The Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators (MAVA) has recognized Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D., the founding president and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), for her strong contributions to workforce development and to diversifying the state’s life sciences workforce.
The MLSC is a state-funded investment organization charged with implementing the state’s 10-year, $1 billion Life Sciences Initiative that was proposed by Governor Deval Patrick in 2007 and enacted by the Massachusetts Legislature in June 2008.
At the fall general meeting of the membership of MAVA, with over 200 members present, Dr. Windham-Bannister received an award for her efforts on behalf of public education and, in specific, vocational technical education. MAVA is a statewide association of vocational technical and agricultural administrators dedicated to rigor, relevance, relationships, and results for student success.
““Dr. Windham-Bannister has been an outstanding supporter during a time when budgets are extremely tight, and yet the need for an improved ability to provide life sciences education and workforce development has never been greater,” said David Ferreira, MAVA executive director.
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center’s STEM Equipment and Supplies Grant Program has awarded more than $8.4 million in 3 rounds to 61 different high schools and workforce development organizations throughout Massachusetts and leveraged more than $1 million in matching funds from the life sciences industry. Out of that $8.1 million, the Center has awarded more than $5.2 million to improve life sciences training facilities at Comprehensive & Vocational Technical Schools across the entire state. The program seeks to increase student achievement and student interest in STEM, and help diversify the STEM workforce. These critically needed funds have been used to start life science programming or improve the capability of existing programs to meet the workforce needs of the life sciences industry in Massachusetts.
“I want to sincerely thank MAVA for this recognition,” said Windham-Bannister. “The Center has worked hard to emphasize the critical importance of vocational and technical skills in the life sciences sectors, and we have made substantial investments in our voc/tech schools across the state. I also want to thank Governor Deval Patrick, because it was his vision, along with the state legislature’s support, that made the Life Sciences initiative possible.”