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CLSI Presents Workforce Trends Data at Briefing with Assemblymember Kevin Mullin
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Caption: Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Kevin Mullin (right) greets legislative staff at Biotech 101 panel. Seated from left: Gregory Theyel, Liisa Bozinovic, Lori Lindburg

On October 18, Lori Lindburg, President & CEO of California Life Sciences Institute, presented key findings from the 2018 California Workforce Trends Report at a legislative briefing at Amgen in South San Francisco.  Coordinated by the California Biotechnology Foundation, and kicked off by Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin, the “Biotech 101” panel briefed CA legislative staff on the important role of California’s life sciences industry.

Lindburg and Biocom Institute Executive Director, Liisa Bozinovic, highlighted the importance of the industry as a job engine for the state of California, directly employing over 300,000 people, and nearly one million individuals when indirect jobs are considered.  They also discussed key trends that are shaping employers’ talent needs, specifically pointing to the impacts of rapid technological advancements, changes in the healthcare and regulatory markets, and tech convergence. They also noted that in an industry characterized by rapid change and churn, it is no surprise employers still point to soft skills as critical for business and career success.

The panel also included a discussion of biotech fundamentals and an overview of the Bay Area’s regional life science microclimates, by Gregory Theyel, head of the East Bay Biomanufacturing Network. Jennifer Fitzgerald, Director of State Government Affairs at Amgen spoke about the value of breakthrough treatments and the costs associated with developing life-saving medicines, while Amgen site head, Aarif Khakoo, highlighted the groundbreaking work that Amgen is pioneering to combat multiple myeloma.

Several on the panel also highlighted the challenges California life science employers are facing in their search for talent, such as long employee commutes, the high cost of living and competition from tech.  Lindburg and Bozinovic offered recommendations about what the legislature could do – in collaboration with industry and academia – to help develop a diverse local talent pipeline that would ensure California’s ongoing world leadership in life science innovation.

Questions? Please contact Lori Lindburg, President & CEO, California Life Sciences Institute