Thursday, March 24, 2011

Biotech job-training program faces funding, hiring challenges

A proven job-training program for the life sciences industry generally isn’t being used by biotechs and is struggling with financial trouble, according to an article in SF Public Press.
The irony in biotech employers not using the Bridge to Biotech program at City College of San Francisco, as the story notes, is a recent report from the California Healthcare Institute, BayBio and PricewaterhouseCoopers in which nearly half of the roughly 100 company CEOs surveyed ranked “an unprepared workforce” among the top three threats to the future of California’s biomedical industry.
Yet some 82 percent of the 609 students who have entered Bridge to Biotech since its start in 2002 have made it through the entire program, SF Public Press said. Eighty-three percent of those survivors take even more college classes. What’s more, the program has been touted as a way of putting city residents on track toward a high-paying biotech job.
“Some companies must get over the perception that the community colleges are vocational schools, not serious academic programs,” Lori Lindburg, director of the BayBio Institute, told SF Public Press. “Bridge is first rate.”

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