MassBioEd Life Sciences Workforce Conference Brings Together Academia and Industry to Address Effects of COVID-19 on Hiring, Higher-Education, and Management of Foreign-Born Talent

Jun 02, 2020

June 2, 2020 (CAMBRIDGE, MA) The Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation (MassBioEd) will hold its 5th Annual Life Sciences Workforce Conference June 2nd – June 4th 1:00pm – 3:00pm in an interactive online format, bringing together influential leaders from universities, colleges, and life science companies. Discussions will focus on building solutions to expand the workforce and create innovative pathways for candidates to develop skills and be better prepared for careers in the industry, particularly during such a critical time when biotechnology innovation has never been so relevant and important.

“The global pandemic caused by COVID-19 is shining a spotlight on the life sciences industry. Our collective work in building and supporting a life sciences workforce has never been more vital,” says Sunny Schwartz, Executive Director of MassBioEd.

MassBioEd's Life Sciences Workforce Conference provides insights into the major trends affecting the industry in Massachusetts. This year, as the world adapts to conducting business remotely, topics will focus on the hiring effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and implications for industry operations.

Secretary of Education James Peyser will deliver keynote remarks on June 3rd, which will be followed by a panel of experts who will provide insight into the adaptations higher education institutions will need to make to ensure tomorrow’s scientists are prepared with the needed technical skills.

“During these unprecedented times, the Administration recognizes and appreciates the diligence of our excellent higher education institutions in adapting to teach biotechnology education remotely. MassBioEd’s Annual Life Sciences Workforce Conference fosters discussion on aligning educational training with industry needs and this year’s focus on how remote learning can be adapted for technical skills is critical to helping educators effectively design and deliver their courses.” – Secretary James Peyser

MassBioEd’s annual Life Sciences Employment Outlook, released at the end of 2019, showed hiring demand was outpacing the supply of talent. The Conference will present an updated overview of hiring trends pre- and post-COVID-19, revealing the highest in-demand positions.

“The biotech industry  has a critical role to play in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. To thrive, the industry needs to create credentials that address the distinctive blend of skills biotech will need in the coming years.” - Matt Sigelman, CEO of Burning Glass Technologies

Panelists will discuss how the pandemic is affecting business, how to focus on recovery, and how to build a flexible workforce. This new online format will offer breakout sessions to provide facilitated in-depth discussion of panel topics and networking opportunities.

Speakers also include Christopher Murphy, General Manager/Vice President, Viral Vector Services, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Chair of the MassBioEd Board, and Matt Sigelman, , CEO of Burning Glass Technologies.

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About MassBioEd

MassBioEd's mission is to build a sustainable life sciences workforce in the region through educational programs that engage and excite teachers, inspire and propel students, and illuminate the pathway from the classroom to careers. MassBioEd’s goal is to build and sustain the life sciences workforce in Massachusetts with a focus on expansion, opportunity and diversity by:

  • Fostering science literacy and exciting students to enter careers in the life sciences
  • Helping individuals gain access to life sciences careers, focusing on diverse and underserved populations
  • Convening education and industry leaders for collaboration and problem solving on life sciences education and training issues
  • Enhancing skills of current life sciences workers focused on building competencies and increasing job satisfaction and retention.

We inspire the future workforce by promoting authentic science in the classrooms and help educators, professionals, and companies navigate the life science industry by keeping a pulse on workforce trends and providing insights into its growth and evolution.

Learn more about MassBioEd at MassBioEd.org.

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