January 25, 2022

Ex-Massport executive tries to replicate agency’s success to diversify the biotech industry

Kenn Turner helped bring diversity into Boston’s development sector during his nearly eight-year tenure as an executive at the Massachusetts Port Authority. Now, he is trying to do something similar for another key part of the region’s economy: life sciences.

Turner met last week with a medical device company, where his agency plans to develop a pilot program to attract more people to the life sciences field. The hope is to retrain adults who have quit their jobs or are looking to switch careers during the pandemic, and to bring more diverse candidates into the hiring mix, with the idea that most life sciences companies will need to cast a broad net to find the workers they need.

The workforce development program, to be unveiled in the spring, would likely tap into state job training funds, and would be developed as a model that could be rolled out to other companies.