The life sciences industry in California, especially San Diego County, is booming with an annual economic impact of nearly $260 billion and payrolls topping one million jobs.
And according to a new report from San Diego-based Biocom, things are likely to get even better in coming years.
“The statewide economic analysis demonstrates the amazingly positive impact the life sciences industry has on the state of California, not just in terms of creating life-saving treatments for patients, but also in terms of driving the economy forward and creating a highly educated, well-paid workforce,” said Joe Panetta, president and
The report, prepared in cooperation with the BayBio Institute in San Francisco, shows venture capital funding and research funding from the National Institute of Health continue to pour into California, topping $3.3 billion in 2013.
However, the report acknowledges the biggest hurdle facing the life sciences industry here and across the country: finding enough skilled workers to fill jobs.
“In order for our industry to continue as an economic engine for the state of California, we need to understand its evolving talent needs and how to best meet them. In short, as our industry continues to create jobs, it is critical that we have people prepared to step into those jobs,” said Lori Lindburg, executive director of the BayBio Institute.
The concern about building a pool of skilled workers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics -- often referred to as
The report, “Still Searching: Job Vacancies and
The Brookings report measured the number of days it takes to hire
Tech hubs on the West Coast including San Diego had some of the longest duration times for professional
“Whether the absolute
The gap is especially evident in California. A report from Georgetown University shows the demand for
Efforts are underway to improve the training for potential
Bottom line, California history in life sciences could be at risk unless a concerted effort is made to match the needs of the industry with the pool of skilled workers.
“The biotechnology industry was born right here in California, with the Bay Area being home to the first biotech company, the first biotech public offering, and the first biotech drug approval by the FDA. What started out as an industry in its infancy in 1976 has grown to a diverse hub for life science research,” said Gail Maderis, president of BayBio.