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 three cohorts in 2023. 

Career Forge includes approximately 110 hours of in-person training and will prepare the 2023 cohort of Forgers for Research Assistant/Associate and QC Analyst roles.

  • 80 hours - 2 intensive weeks of full-time in-person lab technical training and additional professional development coaching.
  • 30 hours - 4 days of full-time in-person workshops focused on critical workplace competencies.
Apply To Career Forge

Upcoming Cohort Schedules  

January 30, 2023 - February 17, 2023

Technical Training: Monday, January 30- Friday, February 10

Workplace Competency Training: Monday, February 13- Thursday, February 16

Final/Presentation Day: Friday, February 17

May 15, 2023- June 5, 2023

Technical Training: Monday, May 15 - Friday, May 26

Workplace Competency Training: Tuesday, May 30 - Friday, June2

Final/Presentation Day: Monday, June 5

October 16, 2023- November 3, 2023

Technical Training: Monday, October 16 - Friday, October 27

Workplace Competency Training: Tuesday, October 30 - Thursday, November 2

Final/Presentation Day: Friday, November 3

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

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.

Leas lab and JVS logos

Stay in touch to learn about future Career Forge cohorts

Future Forger Interest Form

Career Forge FAQ

We are actively recruiting for the next cohorts of Forgers! The 2023 cohorts of Career Forge will use rolling applications. You must indicate in your application which cohort of Career Forge you are applying for in 2023. Start the application process now to participate.

  1. Complete the online application and accompanying assessment beginning November 21, 2022. This is a brief self-assessment that is used to gauge current knowledge and preparedness. Admittance into the program IS NOT based on assessment answers.
  2. Candidates moving forward in the admissions process will then be invited for a short zoom interview beginning January 2, 2022.
  3. Offers of admission will be made starting January 2, 2022 through October 2, 2023.

Applicant Requirements

Applicants for the Career Forge Program must:

  • Identify as Black, Latinx/a/o, Indigenous, other Person of Color, or first-generation college attendee or graduate.
  • Be seeking full-time employment in a research associate or research assistant role within 6 months of program completion.
  • Be 18+ years of age and one of the following:
    • A graduating senior from a 4-year institution with a degree in a relevant field of study;
    • A graduate in a relevant field of study who is underemployed or not employed in a role related to your field of study; OR
    • Adults holding an associate or bachelor’s degree and 1-2 years of relevant lab experience in biomanufacturing or other technical lab roles (i.e. vet tech, medical/healthcare), who are seeking to transition to a role in research and development (R&D).
  • 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.

NOTE: All participants must show proof of vaccination. Testing can be provided by LabCentral Ignite.

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 starts on September 9, 2022, and runs through October 21, 2022. Upon successful completion of the program, Forgers will be connected to hiring managers within the local biotech cluster, especially companies engaged with Ignite’s bioDiversity Network.

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 on September 9, September 26-30 and October 7, 2022. Content will be fully virtual from September 12-September 23. Forgers must be present onsite for the 1-week intensive training. Only those able to participate in the onsite requirements of this program will be considered.

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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