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Bank of America Awards Miami Dade College a Grant to Help Address Local Workforce Needs in the Biosciences


Dr. Jose Vicente, MDC North Campus president; Gene Schaefer, Miami market president, Bank of America; Maria Alonso, Corporate Social Responsibility Market Manager for Miami-Dade/Monroe Counties, Bank of America; and Dr. Rolando Montoya, MDC Provost.

Miami, December 13, 2012 - The Miami Dade College (MDC) School of Science has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to help meet the growing demand for workforce-ready graduates entering the expanding Life Sciences industry. 

The grant will help the College train and place low-income students in high-wage, high-growth life science fields, such as Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, and Science Education. The Bank of America Biosciences Program will provide support to students in a variety of ways to ensure they complete their studies and gain employment. The first form of support will be via student stipends to help defray related costs such as tuition, books and lab fees for low-income students enrolled in bioscience career programs. The second form of support will be in the form of stipends for students completing their internships. All students on a bioscience track must complete an internship in order to graduate. However, since most of these are unpaid, this grant provides them with a stipend that will ease any financial burden they might otherwise face.

All stipend recipients will be trained for jobs and placed in industry internships and will work closely with on-site Single-Stop offices so that students may benefit from all of their services, including assistance with taxes and screening for government benefits.

“We are extremely pleased to be recognized by Bank of America and value their contribution to our students as we help them move from our laboratories to industry,” said Dr. Heather Belmont, dean of the School of Science.

“Bank of America recognizes that education plays a critical role in advancing economic development, and we continue to look for ways to support innovative programs that provide our community’s future workforce with the resources they need to advance their studies and secure career opportunities in high-growth industries,” said Gene Schaefer, Miami market president, Bank of America. “This investment reinforces our support of Miami Dade College’s mission to strengthen our economy by providing students with marketable skills upon graduation.”  

Through this three-year grant program, MDC aims to track and document the importance of stipends in helping students complete their degrees.

Miami Dade College and Bank of America have a long history of collaboration including its role as founding member of New World School of the Arts, the expansion of the Single Stop resource center to additional MDC campuses, and an endowed teaching chair in Business at the Wolfson Campus. In addition, several bank employees are involved in an electronic mentorship program known as iMentor, that provides support to eligible Miami Dade College students.

For more information on the various opportunities available in the biosciences, please contact Dr. Heather Belmont at

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

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