Career Forge 

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Career Forge identifies exceptional career-ready people (“Forgers”) and empowers them with the relevant technical skills needed to forge their path into the biotech industry with meaningful career opportunities.

Jumpstart Your Career - Become A Forger

Prove Yourself

Certify yourself on a set of industry-identified technical and workplace competencies to prove your readiness for entry-level biotech and life sciences roles.

Career forge 1

Level Up

Hone your professional and technical skills under the guidance of working scientists to build confidence and increase your value as a candidate in the biotech job marketplace.

Career forge 2

Find Your Place

After successfully completing the program, get job search support and be actively connected and recommended to hiring managers within LabCentral Ignite’s network of partnering organizations.

Career forge 3



Ignite is currently accepting rolling applications for 2024 cohorts, but we have priority deadlines for each cohort. Even if you miss the priority deadline, we still highly encourage you to apply.

2024 Cohort Schedules: 

  • Spring: May 13, 2024 – June 3, 2024 (Priority deadline: February 2, 2024) [COHORT CLOSED]
  • Summer: July 8, 2024 – July 26, 2024 (Priority deadline: March 1, 2024)
  • Fall: October 21, 2024 – November 8, 2024 (Priority deadline: June 7, 2024)
Apply To Career Forge

Career Forge includes approximately 110 hours of in-person training and prepares Forgers for Research Assistant/Associate and QC Analyst roles.

  • 80 hours - in-person lab technical training and additional professional development coaching.
  • 30 hours - in-person workshops focused on critical workplace competencies.
Career Forge Curriculum

The Career Forge curriculum is presented with the help of our expert training partners LEAS LAB and Jewish Vocational Services (JVS). In addition, Forgers will receive coaching from members of the LabCentral team and volunteer scientists and professionals in the LabCentral resident and partners network.


Your Next Hire Could Be Here 

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Following a rigorous training and upskilling program, Career Forge participants are prepared to enter the workforce with foundational technical skillsets like PCR, gel electrophoresis, spectrometry, and more.

We are looking for companies with a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion who are interested in hiring Career Forgers to join their teams. 


LabCentral Ignite connects Black, Latinx, first-generation college, high school graduates, transitioning adults, and associates and bachelor’s degree holders to meaningful career opportunities.

Hire a Forger

Career Forge FAQ

We are actively recruiting for the next cohorts of Forgers! The 2024 cohorts of Career Forge will use rolling applications. You must indicate in your application which cohort of Career Forge you are applying for in 2024. Start the application process now to participate.

  1. Complete the online application. 
  2. Candidates moving forward in the admissions process will then be invited for a short Zoom interview beginning.
  3. Offers of admission will be made at least four weeks before the cohort start.

Applicant Requirements

Applicants for the Career Forge Program must:

  • Be a first-generation student, woman, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color), or other underrepresented individual who holds or is in their final year of an associate or bachelor’s degree in sciences.
    • Please note: 
      • If you are pursuing a master’s degree, you are not eligible to participate in Career Forge.
      • If you hold a master’s degree, you are only eligible to participate in Career Forge if you have been facing prolonged challenges entering the biotech industry since graduation (i.e., unsuccessful job search after a year of graduating)
  • Be seeking full-time employment in a research associate or research assistant role.
  • Be 18+ years of age.
  • Be able to show proof of ability to legally work in the U.S.
  • Have reliable transportation to training and employer site.
  • Have access to a computer and WiFi connection.
  • Be curious and enthusiastic.
  • Demonstrate grit.
  • Commit to participation in the program and attendance in all workshops (weekdays - most days start around 8:30 am and end around 5:00 pm).

Career Forge is FREE to all participants and includes a $1,200 stipend for those who complete the program. LabCentral will also provide meals when onsite and access to our well-resourced facility and network.

Those who complete the program will receive a $1,200 stipend. LabCentral will also provide meals when onsite and access to our well-resourced facility and network.

The program is a 3-week accelerated training, dedicated to in-person technical training in the lab, along with workplace competency training  

The training schedule is set prior to application submission. Forgers are expected to attend all workshops and complete all assessments successfully to be recommended for roles.

Completion of the program is NOT a guarantee for employment. However, students who complete the program successfully will receive a recommendation from the Career Forge team, and be actively connected and recommended to hiring managers. Previous participants who successfully completed this training and engaged fully in the job search processes have all found a role that fits their needs at the completion of this program.

No. However, there is an expectation that Forgers will be onsite for the entire program.

Forgers are responsible for their own transportation and parking. There is street and garage parking nearby. LabCentral is also located just a short walk from the Kendall/MIT and Central T stations on the Red Line.

Yes! If you already have an opening that would be a fit for our Forgers, we would love to connect you with candidates. Reach out to us at

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