St. Louis has greatly increased its share of the life science research and development industry, with special emphasis in AgTech and Food Science.. St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley (STLCC-FV), launched the AAS Biotechnology program in 1999, and now has graduates at many of the life science companies of St. Louis including Pfizer, Monsanto, Millipore Sigma, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Centocor, Washington University School of Medicine, and more. Since its inception, the STLCC Biotechnology Program has conferred nearly 100 AAS and CS degrees and placed 91% of the core course completers into jobs in plant and life science. It is recognized as one of the best research and development biotechnician training programs in the U.S.
To further encourage more students to enroll in the AAS Biotechnology program and to help the local industry, the Life Science Lab Assistant Certificate of Specialization was created in 2012. This 16-credit hour program provides quick, lab intensive training to ensure students have mastered the basic skills needed to be a laboratory technician in the industry, including pipetting, centrifugation, DNA extraction, PCR, and spectrophotometry. Since its inception, over 45 students have completed the program and 84% are working full or part-time in industry, including Millipore-Sigma, Monsanto, the Danforth Plant Science Center, New Leaf Symbiotics, Benson Hill Biosystems, Anheiser-Busch, and Louisa Foods. Additionally, 77% of graduates have continued their education in a variety of STEM fields, including the AAS Biotechnology program.