Gov. Gary R. Herbert, along with USA Funds, Utah life science industry partners, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and the Department of Workforce Services (DWS) today announced the launch of the Utah Medical Innovations Pathways (MIP) program. The program will provide Utah students the opportunity to graduate high school with a certificate in medical manufacturing innovations and begin a career in life sciences.

“The pathways programs play an important role in meeting the demands of Utah’s workforce needs,” Gov. Herbert said. “We are grateful for the medical innovation industry’s investment and the impact they will have on our young residents.”

MIP industry partners include Bard Access Systems, BD Medical, BioFire Diagnostics, Biomerics, CoNextions Medical, Edwards Lifesciences, EZ Lift Rescue Systems, Fresenius Medical Care, GE Healthcare, Merit Medical, Nelson Labs, Sorenson Genomics, Stryker Corporation and Varian Medical Systems. USA Funds provided a $1 million grant to the state to develop the MIP program.

“As USA Funds works to advance the ideal of ‘Completion With a Purpose’ among today’s students and graduates, we seek to partner with leaders who understand the importance of linking education to employer’s needs to improve student success,” said William D. Hansen, president and CEO of USA Funds. “Utah is quickly becoming a leader among states in what it means for students to graduate with skills and knowledge needed to achieve success in their careers and lives, which is why we’re proud to support the Medical Innovation Pathways program and the state of Utah.”

Beginning this year in Granite School District, MIP will expand to Davis and Canyons School Districts next year. The first semester of the program will take place in the high school facilities, while the second semester will implement curriculum in partnership with Salt Lake Community College (SLCC). Students will also participate in internships and job shadow experiences with life science companies involved in the program. Upon completion of the MIP program and passing pre-employment requirements, students will be certified to begin work with one of the life science partners in Utah, receiving a family-sustaining wage.

MIP is a replication of the Utah Aerospace Pathways program, which was established last year. Its success in the aerospace industry attracted interest from other industries seeking to start their own pathway programs.

The program’s implementation is made possible through the dedication and commitment of several educational organizations statewide. School districts including Canyons, Davis and Granite, worked in partnership with SLCC and the State Board of Education (USBE) to determine the educational requirements, compile the curriculum and provide teachers and school counselors with essential components.