Oregon Bio Nabs $67,000 grant for job creation and workforce development

Oregon Bio’s ‘just-in-time’ training model implements targeted and technical skill expertise from more than 20 professional industry instructors

(Portland, Ore.) — Oregon Bioscience Association (https://www.oregonbio.org/), is the recipient of a unique grant from Worksystems Inc., that will help fund a Portland-area effort to train 260 local incumbent employees who qualify in the H1-B visa targeted employment classifications.

“This $67,000 grant will create a new niche for training employees to update their job skills and prepare them for rapid advancement and recruitment opportunities,” said Oregon Bio’s Executive Director Dennis McNannay. “This money also helps Oregon Bio and its member companies to create partnerships through our successful BioPro program as an extension of their recruiting efforts and access to qualified engineers, quality experts, software programmers and other technically skilled employees.”

The training incentives will integrate with current job placement efforts such as iMatch, ProStep and Employer-On-The-Job-Training programs.  Oregon Bio’s BioPro program (https://oregonbio.org/biopro), launched five years ago and has as its continuing mission to enhance knowledge and efficiency of the local and regional bioscience workforce, thereby improving the competitiveness of the life science and biotechnology industry sectors. A more highly-skilled bioscience workforce makes a positive impact on company operations and competitiveness.

More than 36,000 Oregonians either work in the life science and biotechnology fields (https://oregonbio.org/bio-in-oregon/industry-reports), or have a job created by a bio job in Oregon. Oregon’s job multiplier for biotech and life science jobs is 2.6.

“Oregon Bio has a strong track record of providing effective, just-in-time training for the industry,” said Worksystems Inc. Executive Director Andrew McGough. “Oregon Bio’s key relationships with some of the area’s largest technology and science companies uniquely positions them to respond to the industry’s training and development needs.”

BioPro has trained more than 2,500 workers since its launch and worked in partnership to train staff from 62 companies in 2012. “BioPro is the perfect vehicle for this grant because it targets the workforce development needs of Oregon companies and research institutions in biotechnology, medical devices, diagnostic tools and related technologies,” said Dan Hill, Oregon Bio’s director of training. “BioPro features diverse offerings onsite at companies as well as community classrooms, with innovative industry-specific series curricula and well regarded instructors. “We have a laser focus for the BioPro program (https://oregonbio.org/biopro/more-about-biopro), which is to enhance the talent and skills of the Oregon bio workforce to make the region an even more competitive, world-class bioscience landscape,” adds Hill.

In 2012, Oregon was cited by the national Biotechnology Industry Organization for its decade-long employment (http://www.bio.org/media/press-release/bioscience-industry-adds-jobs-over-last-decade-despite-economic-setbacks-nation),  gains at 30 percent, surpassing Texas, Massachusetts, and California as well as the U.S. bioscience industry. Oregon has also leapfrogged the U.S. private industry market in the past decade. Oregon’s bioscience sector in 2012 outgrew Oregon’s total private sector employment by 20 percent since 2001; increased employment by eight percent during the economy’s 2007-2010 recession and by nearly 31 percent in the past decade; showed job gains overall since 2001 in each of the industry’s main five subsectors; grew average annual wages by 7.6 percent over 2011; and increased the number of bioscience establishments to 762.

About Oregon Bioscience Association

The Oregon Bioscience Association (https://www.oregonbio.org/), advocates for its members and the industry to create opportunity through community, collaboration and commercialization.  Oregon Bio promotes the growth and quality of the bioscience industry in Oregon and continually seeks ways to support sustainability and growth in the life science, bioscience, biotechnology and device manufacturing industries and to create acceleration initiatives so members can achieve their full scientific, economic and social potential. Oregon Bio, a nonprofit membership association, is the Oregon affiliate of BIO,  Biotechnology Industry Organization (http://www.bio.org/).

BIO found in 2012 Oregon’s jobs in biotech grew faster than most other U.S. markets. The association’s most current economic impact study (https://www.oregonbio.org/bio-in-oregon/industry-reports), showed that Oregon has 749 bioscience establishments and 13 life science research institutions generating a cumulative $7.1 billion in economic activity, 36,800 jobs, $1.9 billion in personal income and $273.9 million in local and state tax revenues.  More about the Oregon Bioscience Association can be found at www.oregonbio.org.


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