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At BIO International Convention, Governor Healey Pledges to “Lengthen Massachusetts’ Lead” in Life Sciences with New Workforce Initiatives

Announces MassTalent hub to connect employers and skilled workers in high-growth industries and Pathmaker program to fund training in life sciences

BOSTON – At the BIO International Convention today, Governor Maura Healey announced that her administration is launching a new strategy for connecting employers to skilled, diverse workers in Massachusetts called MassTalent.

MassTalent will serve as a one-stop front door for companies to access multiple talent pipelines in high-growth industries like the life sciences, clean energy and advanced manufacturing. It streamlines government resources to allow employers and jobseekers to tap into Massachusetts’ thriving ecosystem, world-class talent, and robust infrastructure to accelerate their success.

To power these pipelines of talent, the administration has proposed historic investments in early education and care, early college, innovation and career pathways, community college, apprenticeships and other workforce development initiatives. Currently, $50 million is available through the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund to fund partnerships between education and training partners and companies to train future workers.

Governor Healey also announced another component of the MassTalent initiative funded through the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center called Pathmaker. This program will fund new training partnerships between life science companies and training providers, with a goal of creating 8 to 10-week training programs that are free and accessible to students and adults with a high school education and no previous experience.

“Massachusetts didn’t become the global epicenter of the life sciences industry by resting on our laurels. We don’t get complacent in Massachusetts – we get competitive,” said Governor Healey. “We want to lengthen our lead in the life sciences industry by opening up great STEM careers to more students and unlocking the untapped potential of all our diverse communities, connecting employers with the talent they need grow their workforce, and paving the way to spark more discoveries, cure more diseases and help more patients. Our administration is thrilled to be announcing two programs today, MassTalent and Pathmaker that will help to move us forward on these goals.”

“We’re all about Team Massachusetts here, and we’re grateful to the innovative companies and talented workers who have built this lifesaving, world-changing industry here in the Commonwealth,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “Our administration is committed to providing the support that the life sciences need to succeed and grow and collaborating with industry partners each step of the way.”

“Massachusetts is a hub for local and national talent, and it is essential that we make investments that meet the needs of the Commonwealth’s growing workforce across various high-growth industries like the life sciences,” said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Lauren Jones. “MassTalent will help fuel the workers of today and tomorrow by creating a pipeline that connects employers to talent and residents to opportunity. When we create opportunities for our workers, we all succeed.”

“We want to strengthen Massachusetts’ position as the best place in the world to grow a business,” said Secretary of Economic Development Yvonne Hao. “Massachusetts needs skilled workers in order to maintain its position as a leader in life sciences, advanced manufacturing, health care, and clean energy. MassTalent and Pathmaker will help the state meet the demands of our most vital industries while making it easier for companies to access Massachusetts’ workforce development resources through a one-stop hub.”

“We have an unprecedented opportunity to bring a new wave of underrepresented people into our sector and change the complexion of what the life sciences look like,” said Life Sciences Center President and CEO Kenn Turner. “Massachusetts is perfectly positioned to meet this moment for our workforce and for patients around the world. I am grateful for the continued powerful engagement of the Healey-Driscoll Administration and our partners in the legislature to ensure we remain the preeminent leader in the life sciences.”

A request for proposals for the Pathmaker program will be finalized in summer 2023, with $2 million initially available for programs that will launch in the fall of 2023 and are expected to graduate 150-200 students by the first quarter of 2024. Funding awards will be made contingent on training programs that provide quality training that address core competencies identified in the three Pathmaker training tracks for biomanufacturing (PathmakerBIO), advanced medtech manufacturing (PathmakerTECH), and quality assurance/quality control (PathmakerREG). These core competencies have been informed by conversations with industry leaders, nonprofits, and academia to ensure that they will meet the current need.

In her remarks, Governor Healey also reiterated her commitment to reauthorizing the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative, saying: “15 years ago, our state government created a groundbreaking, new model for public-private partnership, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative. Across bipartisan administrations, through ups and downs in the global economy, we have been committed to this partnership. And we will remain committed to this partnership, because it’s rooted in our state’s identity and it has advanced both our scientific leadership and our economic competitiveness. We are working with a coalition of industry leaders and partnering with the legislature to plan the next reauthorization of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative when the current initiative expires in 2025 – with a new investment for a new era of success.”

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