CLAYTON, N.C. — A new grant is helping one community college develop employees in the growing field of biotechnology.

Johnston Community College is getting funds from the National Science Foundation to help expand its program to more neurodiverse students.

What You Need To Know

  • Johnston Community College received a grant from the National Science Foundation to help expand its program to more neurodiverse students

  • The program provides classes and internship opportunities

  • Those age 16 to 21 with autism may participate in the program

The college is partnering with the TEACCH Autism Program to provide classes and internship opportunities for students in hopes that they're able to share their skill set with the community. 

Connor Starling is currently taking part in the class taught at JCC. He is doing an internship at the lab in the Workforce Development Center in Clayton as part of the class.

“It’s called T-STEP and it helps me find a career that best suits me," Starling said. T-STEP stands for school transition to employment and postsecondary education.

“It exposes them to new things," Starling's instructor Melissa Robbins said. "It helps them see that there are plenty of jobs available. Some of them have never had any experience with science.”

The community college is hoping to recruit students like Starling through this program.