BTI paves the way for future bio professionals

02/09/2022 | Samantha Foley

The Bio Technical Institute (BTI), located in the heart of Baltimore City, is preparing the next generation of lab workers and giving their students a true shot at career success.

BTI is leading the way in providing tuition-free, high-quality training to help those who are under- or unemployed become lab workers in the rapidly expanding life science field. Founded in 1998 by Dr. Margaret Penno, associate professor of medicine and director of the Cell Culture Laboratory at Johns Hopkins, the organization has since perfected a successful model to train and help motivated students begin their careers in bioscience.

The program aims to train an estimated 40-50 graduates per year, all guided under the extensive knowledge and experiences of its staff, composed of PhDs and MDs with backgrounds in biology and laboratory technology. Many graduates of BTI’s programs have been invited to come back to the program to help train the next student cohort with hands-on teaching experience.

“At BTI we not only take pride in preparing our students for career success in the rapidly growing life sciences field, but take special interest in helping our students achieve personal growth,” said Dr. Brandy Carter, executive director of BTI. “The continued propersperity of our students reaches far beyond the doors of BTI and funnels over into family, home, and personal life, giving our students, and oftentimes their families, a new path in life.”

A former graduate of the program, Asya Shaheeddavis , is the perfect example of BTI’s life changing effects. After spending 17 years in the retail industry, Asya longed for other career opportunities, when she stumbled upon BTI’s laboratory skills program. After graduating from the program in 2016, Shaheeddavis went on to participate in a paid laboratory internship at Johns Hopkins Medicine, where she was then hired as a full-time lab technician upon completion of the internship the following year. Shaheeddavis’ dedication to success is what ultimately led to her new found career achievements.

BTI selects highly motivated students from all backgrounds and walks of life. The organization has served everyone from international students seeking a fresh start, to inner city high-school students looking to break into a lucrative career, with the only true requirement being a high school diploma and the desire to learn. BTI not only provides the training and know-how for students to succeed, but provides support to students throughout their job searches by placing them in internships, hosting mock interviews, and providing donated suits and professional clothing. As if this isn’t enough, BTI provides ongoing support for its graduates for up to one year after graduation.

With all of the work BTI does to help its students enter the workforce, it’s no wonder why the program's graduates are so successful. Some are hired by local companies in Baltimore and across the state, while some even return to their roots and provide a helping and teaching hand to BTI.

No matter the outcome, BTI has truly become a transformational program for eager students willing to change their paths and provide for themselves and their families. The program offers a holistic approach toward opportunities in the workforce.

For more information or to donate to the nonprofit, visit btiworks.org .

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