California's biotech industry says shortage of trained workers is a barrier to growth

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Dec. 8, 2006 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

The biotech industry -- a sector that pays an average $68,000 wage and is a growing contributor to California's economy -- publicized a report this week stating that the lack of trained workers is one of the primary barriers to being able to manufacture products in the state.  With 400 products in the late phases of research & development and clinical trials, the industry is fast approaching the manufacturing and marketing stages for their innovative and life saving drugs.

The BayBio Life Sciences Association report -- BayBio Impact 2007 www.baybio.org-- outlines the northern California biotech companies' efforts to find new cures and diagnostics for diseases like liver cancer, epstein-barr virus, diabetes and eczema. The report provides key insights into what might prevent these drugs and  other medical technologies from being produced in the state.

"...at stake with every clinical trial is Northern California's leadership position, as funding continues to face threats from budget pressures and competing public expenditures," said BayBio President, Matthew Gardner.  "In addition, employees trained in the life sciences are in high demand.  We as a community of voters must decide whether we will continue to invest in this sector.  The alternative is to allow communities in other parts of the world to garner the jobs and the dividends of manufacturing, as well as downstream investments."

Other CMTA member companies are also threatened with worker shortages as highly skilled workers begin to retire in bigger numbers. CMTA has initiated an advocacy campaign to increase career technical education in the public schools.  Please contact Dorothy Rothrock at drothrock@cmta.net for more information about our Get REAL campaign and how you can join the effort. 
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