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June 11, 2024 | Nik DeCosta-Klipa

An aerial view of Kendall Square in Cambridge.

It’s the first-ever “International Day of Play,” thanks to the soon-to-be-Boston-based LEGO company. Head to City Hall Plaza for family-friendly activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. But first, the news: Work-life (science) balance: While recent layoffs have grabbed the headlines, the biggest future problem facing the Boston area’s strong biotech sector isn’t a lack of jobs. In fact, a new report says just the opposite. According to the Massachusetts Biotechnology.

Education Foundation’s annual report, the sector is facing a worker shortage — and needs to do more to recruit graduates from local colleges.

  • By the numbers: There will be an average of more than 5,700 life sciences job openings a year through the next decade, according to the report. However, local colleges and universities are projected to fill about only 3,500 — or 61% — of those positions.
  • Why? It’s primarily an issue of awareness among college students, MassBioEd CEO Sunny Schwartz told WBUR’s Dan Guzman. “One in five graduates who are majoring in biology, chemistry or other biosciences are landing a job in the life sciences,” Schwartz said. “We’re losing 80% of our graduates to other industries.”
  • What are they doing about it? MassBioEd is working to connect students to the industry with everything from campus conversations to internships. “Some of them may be thinking that the only option is med school,” Schwartz said. MassBioEd has also launched an apprenticeship program and is working with public colleges to diversify the workforce.
  • What’s next: Since 2021, life sciences jobs in Massachusetts have increased about 11.6%, nearly double the national rate. While the growth rate slowed to 2.5% last year, MassBioEd projects the sector to grow 32% by 2033 — an increase of 38,000 net new jobs. Inside City Hall: Boston Mayor Michelle Wu is (again) clashing with city councilors over money for police and firefighters. Wu rejected the cuts the Council made to her proposed police and fire department budgets. In a letter to the Council yesterday, Wu wrote Boston’s “record-low levels of violence are tied to well-resourced public safety efforts,” along with well-kept parks and other city programs.
  • Zoom in: The City Council, which passed the tweaked version of Wu’s budget proposal by a 10-3 vote, could override the mayor with a two-thirds majority. Councilor Brian Worrell told WBUR their budget would still include nominal increases to the police and fire budgets (just not as much as Wu originally proposed).
  • Meanwhile: City Council President Ruthzee Louijeune announced she will file a home rule petition Wednesday to implement ranked choice voting in Boston elections. While Massachusetts voters rejected the voting system at the state level in 2020, ranked choice is already in place locally in Cambridge and Easthampton. (Still, the Legislature hasn’t always looked kindly on ranked choice home rule petitions.) Woof! New England’s first dog bar is opening a second location. Everett’s Park-9 Dog Bar will have a summer pop-up in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood, located by the Star Market
  • at the intersection of Park Drive, Boylston Street and Brookline Avenue. “Park-9 at The Station” will include a 4,000-square-foot off-leash dog park.
  • The menu: For the humans, the pop-up will offer beer, wine and other drinks, as well as a Mexican food truck. For the doggos, there’ll be a selection of treats, pup cups and Tailwagger Dog Beer (yes, there’s craft beer for dogs now). Two-for-one deal: Moderna says its combined COVID-flu vaccine is a step closer to becoming available, after meeting its goals in a late-stage human trial. According to the Cambridge-based company, the trial showed people that got the vaccine had higher immunity rates than those who got separate flu and COVID vaccines. (There’s still no timeline for when exactly it will be available.) A new kind of food drive: Catholic Charities of Boston is teaming up with Instacart on a new anti-hunger initiative this summer. Instacart will publish an online list of items Catholic Charities needs most, and allow people to give and get those items delivered directly to the food bank (with no service or delivery fees).
  • Browse: Check out the donation options here. Instacart also has similar partnerships with over 100 other food banks, including in New Hampshire and Vermont. P.S.— Mark your calendars for 2025. The first-ever WBUR Festival is coming to Comm. Ave. next May. Join us for a convergence of fascinating people grappling with the most consequential issues of our time. There’ll be big speakers, captivating conversations, musical performances, multiple stages, tasty food and a lively street scene. It will be serious stuff, and wicked fun. Sign up for speaker alerts and get answers to all your FAQs at